Design a poster for a horrible film

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All of us, have seen the horror or terrible film already. So, have you ever thought to design a poster for that kind of thrilling film. I will show you how. When processing this design, the color effect which I created by chance, really make me scare. May be you won’t believe, but just take a look at the final result, and you will understand my feeling.


Step 01 – Choose the scene

First of all, we are not the producers, so choose some kinds of old-looking image, like this below.


This step is quite important, you can not scare people with some beautiful or smiling face picture.

Step 02 – Color Balance

Duplicate the layer.Press Ctrl + B or go to menu Image -> Adjustment -> Color Balance, then set these values:

Midtones -> Color levels: 40 0 0
Shadow -> Color levels: -40 0 40


Step 03 – Brightness/Contrast

Duplicate the layer.Go to menu Image -> Adjustment -> Brightness/Contrast. Then give the value -30 for Brightness and 40 for Contrast. You will have:


Step 04 – Adjust the Curve

Duplicate the layer.Press Ctrl + M or go to menu Image -> Adjustment -> Curve. Then you drag the cure till you have the Input value is 170 and the output value is 200.


Step 05 – More horror effect

Duplicate the layer. Then go to menu Image -> Adjustment -> Black/White. In the “Preset” selection, you choose “High Contrast Red Filter”. Next, remember to check on the “Tint” box.


Step 06 – Adjust the light mode.

Duplicate the layer. Then go to menu Layer -> Layer Style -> Blending Option. Now, you choose the Blend mode is Soft Light.


Step 07 – Add blood.

Create a new layer. Then you use the “Chark” brush with any size you want, then draw on the wall. Next, you select the Smudge tool, with the strength is 20%, still use that brush. Then, you smudge around the bloody area on the wall, to make it realistic. Finally, go to menu Layer -> Layer Style -> Blending Option, in the Blend mode, you choose Color Dodge.


I began scare till this step. How about you ? But that ’s till not enough for a poster.

Step 07 – Add the title.

I used the font “Stencil Std”, type anything you want. Just remember to make the size large. Then, go to menu Layer -> Layer Style -> Blending Option, in the Blend mode, you choose “Hard Light” and in Knock out, you select “Deep”. Now, you will have the final result.


Please remember that, all values above are needed to adjust, depend on which images you choose. You could not use the same values for all images to create the same effect.

I would like to see your works if you are interested to play around with my tutorial. If you have any ideas to improve or question, please do not hesitate to let me know, I will reply you soon in the comment sections.

Copyright @ Mr.Blue –


  1. Sinnerman Says:

    very very nice , keep it up

  2. Joe Says:

    What version of Photoshop is this done in? Having trouble with step 5 “Duplicate the layer. Then go to menu Image -> Adjustment -> Black/White. In the “Preset” selection, you choose “High Contrast Red Filter”. Next, remember to check on the “Tint” box”

    I’m using CS2 and cannot find Black/White in Adjustments.

  3. Wout Says:

    Yes indeed Joe, the ‘Black/White’ adjustment is a new feature in CS3… In CS2 you can try something with the channel mixer (check the ‘Monochrome’ option) combined with the Photo Filter on full density warming. Both options can be found under “Image -> Adjustments”

  4. adam Says:

    i tried to find the blend option on CS3 but when i go into layer then layer style i can’t find blend option anywhere

  5. Ooooohhhh. neat tutorial. I I ever want to design a horror film poster, now I know who’s tutorial to reerence. :-) Also I thought that others may be looking for some design inspiration for designing flyers if they are here so I thought that they might benefit from this list of cool poster designs that I found and grouped together –


  6. [...] Design a poster for a horror movie This tutorial will show you how to design a poster for horror movie with scary look and feel. [...]

  7. It’s too dark in many way. And it’s just color adjustment… I mean seem almost nothing except adjustment, level, and some color managing step… It need some more manipulating for looking better. My personal idea, it’s only black dark picture & no horror effect in this final result… Just my personal idea.

  8. [...] Design a poster for a horror movie [...]

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