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14 of the Most Iconic Horror Movie Posters 

For the true collector.

iconic horror movie posters feature image jan 2024

Before the trailer comes out, before the movie hits theaters, we get the movie poster. In a single image, artists have to convey the theme, tone, and content of the film. With strategic blood splatter, memorable taglines, and just the right balance of stark colors, a great movie poster grabs your attention and guarantees you find your way to the theater. It’s no small task, but when it’s done well, those simple movie posters become iconic images stamped in time.

We combed through the movie archives and found fourteen of the most iconic horror movie posters of all time.  



Jaws for iconic horror movie posters jan 2024

Easily one of the most iconic movie posters of all-time, Jaws puts all the focus on the monster of the story. The head full of giant teeth aiming for the unsuspecting swimmer takes up a majority of the space, forcing you to face the nightmare head on. It’s simple and stunning, conveying the exact tone of the movie with pitch-perfect dread. 



Poltergeist for iconic movie posters january 2024

A little girl in front of a television shouldn’t be so scary. But her hands pressed into the black-and-white static, teddy bear forgotten at her feet, her back turned to us. It all adds up to a disconcerting image that the tagline drives home. They’re here—and it knows what scares you. It’s horror perfection. 

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 


The Texas Chainsaw Massacre for iconic movie posters january 2024

While the photo showcased is absolutely terrifying, it’s the words framing the screaming woman and the chainsaw wielding maniac that captures our complete attention. By asking who will survive and what will be left, we are promised a violent and bloody premise. But it’s the “what happened is true” in tiny print that really jumps out. And if it’s true, the shocking photo becomes even more terrifying. 

Nightmare on Elm Street 


a nightmare on elm street for iconic horror movie posters jan 2024

This entire poster is something out of our nightmares. A woman lies in bed with a blank face but too-wide eyes. And hovering in her pillow-strewn hair is a bladed hand, creepy eyes, and a monstrous face. It’s almost campy, but there’s something off-setting about it. Something that promises to infect our dreams and force us to wake up screaming. 



alien for iconic horror movie posters jan 2024

Set between an egg oozing neon green smoke and the grid of a metal floor, your attention goes to the white text on the all-black backdrop: In space no one can hear you scream. The rest of the poster might only be hints at what alien monsters are waiting for us. But the tagline grabs you by the throat and promises not to let go until the movie ends. 



scream for iconic horror movie posters jan 2024

Big blue fright-wide eyes are the only pop of color on this iconic movie poster. The black-and-white close-up of her face in the middle of a muffled scream emphasizes the title while the tagline hints at the murderous romp of a film. A scary movie about scary movies? This poster is enough to absolutely reel us in.  



suspiria for iconic horror movie posters jan 2024

There are no shortage of killer movie posters for this movie. Even the remake simply slayed at capturing the weird, blood-splattered surreal journey you’re about to go on. But the original Italian version, with the naked silhouette of a blood-stained ballerina dancing in a pool of her own blood is simply jaw-dropping. It’s brutal elegance and we are here for it. 

The Descent 


the descent for iconic horror movie posters jan 2024

A skull formed of girl’s bodies surrounded by gold light is an image we cannot stop staring at it. It’s an intricate puzzle, with no indication if it’s fire lighting them up or something else. And what about the strange almost images surrounding them. With a title that offers no clues, all we know is we’re about to embark deep into the dark unknown. And we are all in. 



halloween for iconic horror movie posters jan 2024

It seems like it should be impossible to make a carved pumpkin scary, but this poster does it. It’s not just that there’s a gigantic butcher knife with the tip lit up to give away the horrors that await. It’s also the pumpkin itself, the bumps in the skin and zig-zagged eyes that gives it a gruesome demeanor. Something tells us that this particular Halloween is all about the tricks and not about the treats. 

The Shining (The Alternate Poster)


the shining for iconic horror movie posters jan 2024

There’s nothing more iconic than a movie poster taking the most iconic scene in the movie and putting it front and center. Anyone who has seen the movie can hear the eerie “here’s Johnny” while poor Shelly Duvall screams, and if you haven’t, it just makes that scene slap even harder. 



saw for iconic horror movie posters jan 2024

All it takes to evoke bone-deep fear is the hint of a sawblade and a chopped off hand. The white background somehow creates a darkness that defies the peaceful calm it should embody. It’s stark and bleak, the dirty fingers and blood splatter barely hinting at the gory horror that is sure to follow. 



candyman for iconic horror movie posters jan 2024

An up-close shot of an eyeball with a bee crawling across it would be spine-tingling enough. But then there’s the outline of a hulking man reflected in the pupil. And the only thing you can really make out is the sharp hook in his hand. It’s creepy and immediately makes you wonder, who would say his name five times??? 

The Evil Dead 


the evil dead for iconic horror movie posters jan 2024

This is an example of less doing more. Who is the woman half-buried in the ground? And who—or what—is pulling her back down. The devil is in the details here. Blood drips from her mouth, her clothing is ripped and torn. It makes us want to know what happened to her. Plus, let’s be honest, the Stephen King blurb taking up the top third is pretty intriguing as well. 



us for iconic horror movie posters jan 2024

Even though it’s just a mask, there’s something disarmingly unsettling about the way she holds it up to her face. A false smile is etched on the fake face while behind the real woman waits, wide-eyed and crying. It immediately makes us wonder who the title refers to. Is it a nod to the other characters in the film? Or even more chilling, does it encompass the woman and the mask she wears?