Codes and conventions of psychological thriler film posters
CODES AND CONVENTIONS OF
PSYCHOLOGICAL THRILER FILM
Use of Film poster
• Film posters are a way of promoting the
film/movie. It can be advertised in many
forms from billboard to train station posters to
bus posters. The versatility of film posters
helps to target a lot of people within the
Psychological Thriller film poster
• As the genre of psychological thriller is the sub
genre of horror the themes portrayed through
out the film are generally scary / negative and
intellectual, for example many psychological
thrillers share the same theme of madness.
• The themes of the film should be portrayed
through the poster as this helps the audience
understand the film.
Close up Shots
Many psychological thriller posters show the
main character within a close up shot staring
directly into the camera. This shows a form of
eerieness and ambiguity sometimes also the
theme of madness which runs throughout the
film. This also helps to create enigma which
draws the audience even more to the film as they
would want to know why the person is like the
way they have been portrayed.
The colours within the film posters are generally very dark however some have
light colours but clash with dark colours therefore a psychological thriller will
always consist of dark colours as it brings a sense of ambiguity yet presents the
themes accordingly to the genre.
The use of dark colours helps to clearly show the genre the film is as a film poster
should not be confusing to the audience. The use of dark colours and manipulation
of effects helps the audience especially into understanding the concept of the film.
Many film posters only have the main character outlined to represent who the
main character actually is which also helps the audience to identify who they
will see most on the screen. Also many films focus on one character
sometimes and shows events within the film which affects the main character
the most representing sympathy or hatred for them.
Nonetheless film posters show only the main character especially if they are a
big star as this would help gain more awareness.
Analysis – Shutter Island
The poster portrays dark colours showing a
form of ambiguity. The only light is shown
through a match lit flame possibly suggesting
Not a lot of information or pictures are
given away in the film poster as the posters
purpose is to gain awareness and generate
hype within the audience.
Analysis – Black Swan
The poster for Black swan consists of ambiguity
as all that is shown is a close up shot of the
The crack effect represents a form of
disruption that the main character will go
through. This implies a form of action which is
used to interest the audience.
The typography of the quote placed near the
middle of the right hand side assists the
audience to watch the film as the quote is in
favour of the film. Film posters generally have
quotes to show the audience how great the film
is and to make them watch it.
Although the colour of the poster is mainly
white it is clashed against a black back ground
which represents a clash of pure/evil, good/bad.
The poster shows a close up shot of the main
character which uses the typical convention of
a psychological thriller film poster.
The use of effects to deliberately put pen
marks across the characters face shows a form
of madness and ambiguity which makes the
audience question the film. This also helps