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Spenser Kersey Professor Julia Smith English 106 February 8, 2014 The Exorcist Movie Poster Analysis The Exorcist movie poster initially appears to be very simple. The house, streetlight, sidewalk, and vehicle in the driveway all seem simple. With another look at the poster the complexity of it stands out. The posters design took a very simple image of a house and made it very complex by putting certain variations in parts of the poster. He shines a very bright, powerful light out of the upstairs window. This light shines down onto a silhouette of what looks like a man. Also, the light illuminating from the window shines directly at an open gate in front of the house. All of these changes made to a quite simple image create a new level of interest and complexity for this poster. The text used on the top of the poster gives the movie buffs a chance to build their own expectations for the movie. The Exorcist poster intrigues not only horror movie fans but all audiences. The light illuminating from the upper left window speaks to those detectives looking for a mystery to solve. The difference between this light coming from the upper left window and the other lights is apparent, it has more power and overtakes all the other lights in this poster. The light appears to be paranormal or something different than all the other lights. The appeal towards the mystery fan base stands out because we, as the audience who have never seen the movie before, do not know what rests inside that window. Not knowing what resides inside that room sparks interest in all of the people looking to solve a mystery. Seeing this mysterious light makes the viewer more curious and makes them want to not only solve a mystery but to solve the

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one specific mystery that this poster illustrates. The poster appeals to the viewers emotions by making them feel intrigued. The use of pathos makes theses intrigued viewers feel obligated to see the movie. The use of shadows attracts mystery solvers also. The shadowy figure immersed in this blinding light casts a shadow behind himself. The light pole casts a shadow and the fence running along the front of the house also does. The plants also cast shadows. Whenever there is light there has to be shadows, right? As the audience sees in this image, shadows are casted but not like typical shadows. The shadows do not extend through the bottom of the poster as they would if the shadows were more realistic. The shadows get stopped by this darkness along the bottom of the page. Viewers see this as a mystery also, why does the darkness over power the shadows? The darkness seems to have a similar amount of power as the blinding light. Once again the poster appeals to the viewers emotions by making them desire to solve the mystery. The shadows and darkness now have just as much of a mystery to them as the light coming from the window has. Now, on behalf of the powerful lighting versus the powerful darkness, a mystery movie lover needs to see this movie to fulfill their want that the use of pathos gave them. The text along the top of the poster fascinates your typical horror movie fan. The text is white surrounded by the darkest part of the poster. This contrast keeps building on the assumption that the light and darkness could be equally as powerful. The first part of the text reads The Scariest Movie Of All Time Has Returned, this text has significance because it builds our trust in this poster. It gives this poster credibility because this movie has been done before and now the scariest movie ever is back. Ethos use here allows the horror movie fans to give this poster a second look. The second part of the text reads In A Version Youve Never

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Seen, this text means so much! Just as the credibility is built from this movie returning, it draws the horror movie fans in because it is in a new version. The combination of the two lines of text intrigues the horror movie buffs because they can relate to the movie because it has returned but now it is in a version no one has ever seen. The logos use following the use of ethos is brilliant and entices horror movie lovers to see this film. The man immersed in the light belongs to an unknown race or ethnicity, making this man just a silhouette allows any audience no matter what race or ethnicity to have an open mind about seeing this film. Giving this man an unknown race counts out someone seeing this movie because of biased opinions about race. The era this movie came out in consisted of many people who came from strong opinionated families. Leaving ethnicity out of the equations allows for any one person to connect with this image of the man in the light. Along with an unknown race the attire of the character insists that the older generation viewers can enjoy this movie. The hat he wears and the outfit the designer put on him appears to show the audience he has class. His classy attire lets older viewers relate to this movie. Typically, not always, the older generations were the ones who has biased opinions about race or ethnicity. So, leaving out a race may have made the movie seem unappealing to the older generation because they do not want to watch a movie without a strong white male lead. Giving the silhouette class may just change their minds and come to a conclusion that they can see this movie. The attire of the man also tells the audience that The Exorcist is not your typical teenage horror flick and can be enjoyed by any person of any age. A typical teenage horror flick may involve a poster with a woman in a bathing suit, or a very gory picture. Teenagers are fueled by that stuff, so having that would attract them more. Saying that, it still appeals to the teenagers and younger people. The text on the top of the page makes teenagers feel cool or at a higher level

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because after seeing it they can say that they have seen the Scariest Movie Of All Time. Scary movies seem to be able to set a bar of who is most daring during teenage years. The attire combined with the class and text on top of the page allow for anybody of any race, age, ethnicity, or economic class to at least consider seeing the movie. The out of this world light shining down from the house fascinates those interested in religious studies of this film. Exorcisms are common in old readings and have always been performed by religious individuals. Most religions have documentation of exorcisms and believe that demons can possess a human being. The light seems heavenly and of a higher power, making this assumption leads to a religious interpretation of this movie poster. People interested in religion can safely assume that the man in the light is a religious figure of some sort. Most will assume it is a pastor or priest. But, taking it a step further, the silhouette can be depicted to be the savior. The house in this case symbolizes heaven and the light illuminating from it can be calling the chosen one, the savior. The appeal of this poster to those interested in religion comes from seeing the savior in the light. Using the most powerful light in the image to indicate the chosen one easily attracts the faith-filled audience. Throughout the poster observations of crosses are evident. On all of the windows, except one, crosses protect the windows. Furthermore, the gate in front of the house has crosses that protect the entry. The gate is open and lets the chosen one, the savior, come to heaven and save the innocent. People truly committed to their faith are intrigued by this poster just like everyone else who wants to see this movie is. The heavenly light and crosses interest another set of viewers, the religious. On top of everything else, the poster draws the audiences eyes to this powerful light that shines directly at an open gate indicating that The Exorcist movie poster provides a warm welcome to any viewers. As any one individual looks at this poster they see an open gate that

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welcomes them in. The open gate leads directly to the house that resembles a safe place which is very accepting of many people. The house resembles a safe place because it is a family environment and is full of love and joy. The illuminating light from the window puts an exclamation point on the open gate, the entrance, exemplifying that this house is welcoming and accepting. The use of small details and rhetoric is very successful. Everything the designer uses in this poster was strategically placed and done very well. The lighting, silhouette, class, gender, unknown race, darkness, shadows, text, and crosses all combine to appeal to virtually any audience. An audience that this poster does not appeal to is children. The designer knows that children not only are legally unable to see this movie alone, because its rated R, but tend to choose to avoid scary movies. Ethos, pathos, and logos are used throughout and help increase the desire of any audience to see this film. Discussion of gender being persuaded to see this movie did not come up throughout, but it seems to be assumed by the designer that horror movies attract both men and women because typically one does not want to see a horror film without someone else there to protect or help them through it. Todays society both watch movies for entertainment and to learn lessons. The Exorcist poster being able to intrigue not only horror movie fans but all audiences allows for people to connect with this picture making them desire to watch this film. The beliefs and values of American culture have relied so much on movies that the ability of this poster to intrigue so many audiences is vital to this movies success. The movie poster made this movie a success before virtually anyone actually watched The Exorcist. WORKS CITED: Gold, Bill. "The Exorcist Movie Poster - Internet Movie Poster Awards Gallery." The Exorcist Movie Poster - Internet Movie Poster Awards Gallery. N.p., n.d. Web. 01 Feb. 2014.