Paranormal ActivityPoster AnalysisPurpose of PostersFilm posters are form of advertising that help to raise awareness of an upcoming filmrelease. Posters often follow a variety of conventions including having a striking image, thefilm title, actors/actresses names, the release date, age certificate, and director orproduction names. These details provide a consumer with all the information they need toknow about the film and the style and appearance of the poster will help audiences identifywhat the film’s genre is. Film posters can be displayed in a variety of places from being onstreet billboards, and buses to featuring in magazines and online.Paranormal Activity PosterImageThe image used in this poster introduces anaudience to the two main characters and thesetting. From the rule of thirds, the eye is drawnto the female character who is pointing to amysterious figure at the door and it is this thathighlights that the supernatural will play a role inthe film. From first impressions, a sense ofnormality is created as the setting appears veryordinary and modern and therefore this is morerelatable to the audience. Similarly, thecharacters seem young in this image as they do inthe trailer so they can be seen to reflect theyoung target audience that the film is aimed at.The choice of using an ordinary house as a settingis a convention of the horror genre as somethingwith this normality is portrayed with anunexpected twist.The bedroom in this imagewould usually be associated with comfort andsafety however the darkness and mysteriousfigure creates a sense of fear and danger.Furthermore, the image appears quite grainy toreflect how the events are being filmed on a video camera and this look with the time in thecorner makes the image gain verisimilitude. Using the time in the corner reflects how theevents are happening at night and again, this is a convention of horror as events oftenhappenin the darkness to add to the unknown and eerie atmosphere.
ColourThe colours used in this poster are kept to 4 colours; black, white, red and blue and each ofthese can be associated with the horror genre. Firstly, using black is a typical convention ofthe horror genre as this is associated with the unknown and provides a sense of danger as itis often linked with the theme of death. The white text against the black background createsa ghostly feel in which this is relevant to the supernatural plot line and the red for the filmtitle connotes the idea that the characters are in danger. Finally, the colour blue in the textand the blue shade across the image not only highlights the night vision of the camera butsuggestsa cold and chilling atmosphere which is often associated with the supernatural andghosts.TextThe title is written in a text that is larger and in a different colour compared to the othertext on the poster, this enables the title of the film to stand out. Also, the blurriness of thered title reminds the audience that the film is based on video footage. Similarly, most of thetext uses capitals suggesting an intimidating tone which again is fitting to the horror genre.LanguageThe slogan “what happens when you sleep”directly talks to the audience as it makes themquestion what does happen during the night as anyactivity that occurs is often unknown to them dueto them being asleep. This slogan may encourageaudiences to view the film because they areintrigued to find out happens to these characters.Similarly, through “Don’t watch it alone,” tells theconsumer that this film is of the horror genre andthat watching it alone will be frightening. Audiences expect a horror film to entertain themthrough fear and by including a positive film review on the poster suggests that this film is asuccess through using phrases such as “scariest movies of all time” and “it’s hard to ignorethe imprint it leaves.” The critics, ‘Bloody Disgusting’ specialise in reviewing horror films soby including this suggests that the film is a success as it has received a praising review fromthese critics. Furthermore, by suggesting that “you will be affected” and “nightmares areguaranteed” feels like the film is challenging the audience to see whether attending the filmwill psychologically affect them and “guaranteed” suggests that the film will meet theconsumer’s high standards.
LayoutThe layout of this poster is fairly simple but attention is drawn to the main image in thecentre, particularly the two characters. This is because the poster is fitting to the rule ofthirds, meaning that the eye is drawn straight to them. From looking at these twocharacters, the consumer then sees the female character pointing and this directs theconsumer’s eye to the mysterious figure at the door.The organisation of the text is kept quite structured in that the consumers eye follows theflow of how the text has been positioned this could be linked to flow of the film reel whichreminds an audience that Paranormal Activity is based on video footage.AdvertisingThe Paranormal Activity poster offers a demand service that encourages potential audiencesto demand the film if it is not playing in their area. This is because the film was a low budgethorror meaning that it was not shown in all cinemas. By doing this, it may be easier for theproducers to see how successful the film will be as they can see who and where theiraudiences are. Similarly, the films website is also advertised where the films trailer andother information can be found to entice audiences.Barthe’s Enigma TheoryBarthe’s enigma theory is based upon the idea of creating mystery for an audience. This canbe applied to the Paranormal Activity poster as mystery is created through various aspectsof the poster. Firstly, the mysterious figure at the door creates an enigma as it is ambiguousto the audience who or why this figure is there. Similarly, the language used, “what happenswhen you sleep?” causes consumers to question what really does happen and therefore thismay entice audiences to go and watch the film.InfluencesFrom carrying out this textual analysis, something we have been inspired by is the languagethat has been used in this Paranormal Activity poster. Particularly, the slogans as thesedirectly talk to an audience. We think that we will aim to directly talk to our consumers inour media products as we think this is successful for an audience to gain a more personalconnection to our media.Using a review in this poster reflects how this film is good enough to gain critic attention, soit is possible that we will include a review of some sort on our poster as this will help ourfilm to gain attention.Finally, the style of the text used for the title visually represents how this film is shownthrough video footage. It could be interesting if we could use text to portray a messageabout our film. For example, we know that we are planning to use toys in our trailer soperhaps the text style could have a childhood style to it.