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10 Fiendishly Clever Secrets Hidden In Famous Movie Posters –

 

 

 

A great poster is both eye-catching and informative, effectively conveying the feel and tone of the movie it’s selling and persuading you to part with your hard-earned cash once said movie opens in cinemas.

They can be pieces of art in their own right, and we’ve seen some truly gorgeous ones over the years.

But, because we’re so used to giving them quick glances while walking through a multiplex, or skimming over them while browsing an article, a lot of the hidden details and secrets found in certain movie posters can easily go overlooked.

Most of the time, we don’t even expect posters to harbour any secrets at all. We know they’re there to sell a movie – which is where the real surprises will lie – so posters are often given no more then a passing “Eh. Looks cool.” and no further thought.

However, with today’s zoom-and-enhance-obsessed internet culture, where streams of commenters pore over every single frame and image a movie has to offer, secrets were bound to be revealed at some point, right? Here are ten of the sneakiest that you probably missed…

 (1984)

Amblin

Gremlins is a classic family movie that’s stood the test of time and is revered to this day, and funnily enough, its movie poster hides a secret referencing another classic family movie that’s stood the test of time and is revered to this day. Imagine that?!

Look closely at the above poster, paying attention to the button on Billy’s jeans.

If you squint, you can make out the logo of Amblin Entertainment, the company that produced Gremlins and E.T.

The logo is a nod to this famous scene from the latter film, showing a bicycle flying through the sky.

Universal Pictures

This is very hard to notice by just looking at the poster normally, so it’s not surprising it took years and years to unearth.

9. Legend (2015)

StudioCanal

Every movie gets bad, or mixed, reviews – it’s just the way it is. It’s impossible to please everybody, and even the most beloved of movies will have one or two less-than positive reactions on its critical record.

Legend – the 2015 crime-drama starring Tom Hardy and Tom Hardy – also received some bad reviews, but instead of reading them and crying, the movie’s marketing team chose to put a sneaky, positive spin on one particular one, using it as fuel to make the movie look even more critically lauded than it actually was.

That’s the Twitter account of Benjamin Lee, a writer for The Guardian. He reviewed Legend when it came out, and although the poster makes it look like his review was favourable, it wasn’t – he gave it two stars out of five.

So, Legend’s marketing team cleverly positioned those two stars to make it look like there were more stars hidden behind Tom Hardy’s heads. Genius.

8. Baby Driver (2017)

TriStar Pictures

This gets said every time Edgar Wright releases a new movie, but his latest might be his best. Baby Driver is a smooth, action-packed pseudo-musical that’s as slick and inventive as we’ve come to expect from the renowned British director.

His creativeness also appears to have rubbed off on the marketing team, as one of the posters for the film proves…

Sony Pictures Releasing

Baby Driver involves a lot of heists, shootouts, and driving, which makes the gun, tyre tracks and car both appropriate and easy to spot.

Baby Driver also involves a lot of music, and something you might not have noticed is that those tyre tracks also double as sound waves, in a clever nod to the movie’s liberal use of some classic pop-rock tunes.

7. The Silence Of The Lambs (1991)

Orion Pictures

The Silence Of The Lambs’ poster is one of the most iconic in cinematic history, with the impossible-to-forget, ghost-white image of Jodie Foster’s Clarice Starling contrasted by a brightly-coloured moth, complete with a skull on the back of its head.

There’s more to that skull than meets the eye, though. If you look closely, you can see that it’s actually made up of seven naked female bodies.

This composition is taken from a photo by Salvador Dali that depicts several naked females joined together to form a skull shape.

It was director Jonathan Demme who gave this idea to the marketing team, with the use of females being a reference to the film’s serial killer, Buffalo Bill, who skins the corpses of his female victims.

6. Brave (2012)

Pixar

The plot of Pixar’s Brave finds Merida – a young, rebellious princess – and her family trying to defeat a gigantic, angry demon-bear by the name of Mor’du.

Spoiler alert! They’re successful. Mor’du is crushed by a falling rock, bringing peace and tranquility to the Scottish Highlands.

So it’s quite amusing to learn that not only does Mor’du make a stealthy appearance in the film’s poster, but he’s disguised as a rock – the very object that will eventually end up killing him.

Disney

Take a look at the rocks shrouded in mist and dotted in and around the giant letters, and train your eyes on the rock in-between letters “V” and “E”.

You can just about make out two bright yellow eyes at the top of the rock, and two slight ears going off to the sides. Mor’du is watching…

5. Halloween (1978)

Compass International

The original Halloween movie is still the best in the franchise, even after 39 years and nine more entries.

It’s a testament to the film’s raw power and scare-factor that it’s still creepy, suspenseful and hard-to-watch, even today.

Its iconic poster is equally scary, and succinctly captures the minimalistic feel of the film’s slasher premise. But despite its simple design, it’s still got room for a stealthily-hidden image, that, like Michael Myers himself, is lurking creepily in the darkness.

The hidden image can be seen on the knife-wielding hand featured prominently on the poster. The bulbous veins, when combined with certain light and dark patches, come together to form a screaming face.

Still don’t see it? We’ll try our best to explain. Ignore the thumb, and look at the four main knuckles. The very top knuckle is the eye, the second knuckle down is the nose, and the gap in-between the pinky and ring-finger knuckles is the mouth.

Have you got it now? It’s a genius inclusion, and something you’ll never be able to un-see once you spot it.

4. The Dark Tower (2017)

Columbia Pictures

The recently-released adaptation of Stephen King’s The Dark Tower hasn’t exactly landed with the splash that the source material deserves, and it remains to be seen if we’ll be given any more films set in this universe.

The studio must have known they had a dud on their hands, since they didn’t begin the film’s marketing push until March of this year – just a few months out from release.

It was during this month that the above poster dropped, and, oddly, for a film called The Dark Tower, the poster featured no such tower in sight.

Or so it would appear.

Columbia Pictures

If the poster is viewed in negative, the titular dark tower is revealed in all its menacing glory.

This is a cool, simple little trick, and will probably have hundreds of fans viewing movie posters in negative for many, many years to come, desperately searching for secrets.

3. Indiana Jones And The Kingdom Of The Crystal Skull (2008)

LucasFilm

Kingdom Of The Crystal Skull was Steven Spielberg’s incredibly belated and incredibly disappointing fourth entry in his action-adventure franchise, in large part due to the addition of several baffling sequences (see Shia LaBeouf’s rope-swinging), terrible CGI, and the late-game reveal that aliens were behind the whole thing!

Aliens! In Indiana Jones! It just didn’t seem to fit, and the revelation that there was extra-terrestrial life in this universe was directly at odds with the grounded, down-to-Earth feel of the Indy character.

Sadly, if we’d all paid more attention to the film’s poster, we’d have known that aliens were coming and so could have avoided the film at all costs.

The above poster features Indy stood in front of a giant crystal skull. But look closer, between the eyes of the skull, and you can see what appears to be the face of an alien creature, sat just above the dark patch that is the skull’s nose.

It’s hard to make out even with a zoomed-in look, and that was probably the point; maybe the marketing team didn’t want us to know that Indiana Jones was about to be ruined.

2. The Dark Knight Rises (2012)

Warner Bros.

Before Man Of Steel and before the DCEU, Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight Trilogy concluded with a reasonably well-executed final chapter, The Dark Knight Rises.

But if this hidden image on one of its posters is what it looks like it is, then the film – at one point in time – may have been intended as less of a conclusion and more of a beginning.

The above poster is quite simple and there’s not a lot going on, but one area in particular appears to contain the famous Superman symbol, tucked away to the side and disguised as a piece of rubble.

Take a closer look…

Look to the far left, directly in the middle. There’s a piece of rubble (?) that looks a lot different to those found in the rest of the poster – it looks out of place and is hard to un-see once you know it’s there.

This looks like the classic Superman “S” logo, just tipped on its side slightly.

Is this just a fanboy fever-dream? Was it an intern just messing around? Or is there actually something to it? With the DCEU in full swing and Nolan’s trilogy fading into the past, we may never actually find out.

1. Passengers (2016)

Columbia Pictures

Passengers, starring two of the hottest properties on the planet in Jennifer Lawrence and Chris Pratt, simply didn’t live up to the hype that those two mega A-list names warranted.

It was well put together, with some beautiful cinematography and set design, but its central romance and mystery were both lacking.

The above poster contained a mystery, too, on top of the one at the heart of the film itself. What exactly does the series of dots and dashes, placed just below the title text, mean?

It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that this is Morse code, but since most normal people aren’t very fluent in that particular form of communication, the help of a translator is needed.

The sequence shown on the poster reads “SOS”. The movie is about two passengers, travelling on a spaceship, who wake up 90 years too early – and so are stuck, seemingly doomed to die from old age before the ship reaches its destination.

And what do you do when you’re trapped on a ship? Send out an SOS. It’s a little on-the-nose once the code is actually translated, but this was a smart way to get people to interact with the movie’s marketing campaign.

 

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