Create a dark, creepy movie poster

In this tutorial we are going to create a movie poster based closely on the movie poster from The Last House on the Left. This tutorial will show you how to create a simple yet effective movie poster with a photo and some typography.

Movie Poster Tutorial

Step 1

First grab this house image and open it up in Photoshop. To give it proper credit, this photo was originally from Image After, but I have edited it for this tutorial. Now we want to duplicate the house twice, so push control + j twice. We are going to do this so we have the original just in case we make a mistake.

Take the top layer and go to filter>other>high pass and change to 8px. Change that layer’s blend mode to overlay.

Movie Poster Tutorial

Step 2

Click on the second layer (the house photo) and do control + u to open up the hue/saturation. Drop the saturation all the way down to -100.

Movie Poster Tutorial

Step 3

Now we want to go in and burn the bottom of the image and the sides where the trees are, so that when we bring it into our final document it will blend with the black.

The reason why we are burning it instead of using a black gradient is because the gradient would flatten the photo out.

Movie Poster Tutorial

Step 4

Using control + L, open up the levels and adjust them as I have below.

Movie Poster Tutorial

Step 5

Link the top two layers and merge them together.

Movie Poster Tutorial

Step 6

Since this is a movie poster we are going to set it up as if we were going to print it. I am going to make a 6.5 x 10 in poster (this works best because of the size of the photo) with a dpi of 300 and CMYK for the color.

Fill the document with black.

Movie Poster Tutorial

Step 7

Bring the house into our new document.

Movie Poster Tutorial

Step 8

Now we are going to create a cloud brush to blend the edges of the house photo. Create a new document 1000x1000px. Using the circular marquee tool, create a circle with a feather of 75px. Go to filter>render clouds.

Using control + a to select the entire document then go to edit>define brush preset.

Movie Poster Tutorial

Step 9

Go back to the poster document and take the brush that we just made and use it to paint on the edge of the house photos until the edges are gone, changing the opacity between 20 and 50% to get a smooth transition.

Movie Poster Tutorial

Step 10

I want to give the house a little more contrast, so using control + L, open up the layers and adjust like so for the house layer.

Movie Poster Tutorial

Step 11

To get the bottom part of the poster you can go to this movie’s home page ( and do a print screen.

Create a new document and paste (control + v) the screen print. Using the marquee tool, click and drag a square around the credits. Click on the arrow tool in the toolbar and click and drage the credits into our document.

Movie Poster Tutorial

Step 12

Using the Trajan font type out the tagline at the bottom of the poster above the credits. “If bad people hurt someone you love, how far would you go to hurt them back?”, or make up your own.

Movie Poster Tutorial

Step 13

Now using the same font, create the headline. “The Last House on the Left”

Movie Poster Tutorial

Step 14

You can go and download this blood/grunge brush to add the subtle spatter on the title. Use red on the red letters and use white on the white letters. You can also change it to black and pant a few spots to give it a grungy-er look.

Movie Poster Tutorial

Step 15

Go to filter>noise>add noise and change the setting to 15. That’s it, you’re done. Be sure to play around with it, us a different title, maybe a different photo. Good luck!

Movie Poster Tutorial


Movie Poster Tutorial

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