Create Classic Horror Movie Poster – Laura’s Counterplay

Dark (#211f1f) color layer >> Grunge paper >> Road >> Shadow Silhouette >> Finger Prints >> Girl in the Rain

shadow layer

Next, when we have a great black and white background (it turned black and white when we placed a colorless silhouette’s layer over it), time to add the spicy little details and title. Let’s start with a cliche that any horror movie will have in it, and most of them are going to have it on the poster as well — knife covered with blood! (yep, we finally got to the chop-chop part!) Chose any weapon you like, we went with a classic kitchen knife I fished out of as well. Crop the white  background (in my case I just erased the bg with one click using the Magic Eraser Tool, then Selected the remaining part (knife itself, select it by holding the CTRL key and pressing on the layer, in your layer palette), then I went to Select >>  Modify >> Contract and set it to 1 px. Afterwords I pressed Shift + CTRL + I to inverse the selection and pressed delete. Voila, the knife is neatly cropped.

Place the knife somewhere at the bottom of the canvas to make sure it does not obscure any of our carefully selected characters.

knife layer

Time to add a spine-chilling title. Since our poster is rather busy, I made a new layer, and using a black color with soft brush, I added a small black cloud at the bottom, where I plan to place my title.

dark stain of black fog

To decorate it a little bit more, I also took one of the shapes I have in my computer and added it on top of the black cloud to give our poster a more of a Gothic look.


I also took one more shape, of a slightly lighter hue and placed it above the black cloud layer. Now this gives the poster a more of a devilish mood.

horror poster photoshop image effect

Finally, the most important part – the title. We made use of Birch Std font to write “Laura’s”, in white, 109pt letters; and placed the name over the black stain we previously made at the lower part of the canvas.

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  • Reply Vim March 19, 2009 at 10:20 am

    Great tutorial, Looks very nice, the part of the picture with the woman’s hand in the air, reminds me of the car scene from titanic!! is that where the image was taken from

  • Reply chris March 19, 2009 at 12:28 pm

    You can still see the cow in the backround lol

  • Reply Lorelei March 19, 2009 at 3:12 pm

    @ chris, you cracked me from laughter with this comment!

  • Reply discovernow March 31, 2009 at 11:10 pm

    Awesome!!! Thank you so much for sharing this! I just followed the tutorial and got something close to it.

  • Reply Brochures April 1, 2009 at 5:29 am

    Nice tutorial! Definitely something to try out, good thing you provided the links to the stock photos. Thanks for sharing this tutorial. Keep up the good work!

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    Great work thanks

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  • Reply Lorelei May 6, 2009 at 5:33 pm

    Thank you for your comments guys!

  • Reply photo retouching May 7, 2009 at 6:55 am

    What a truly great and meticulous bit of photo retouching . I love the attention to detail. Thanks for sharing!

  • Reply jacobtitan3 May 21, 2009 at 12:26 pm

    great job i used this for one of my projects in a computer art class! but i did notice something, on the left eye of the girl there is 2 eyes idk if u might have used the clone stamp tool in there but i just noticed that.

  • Reply huwaw69 May 21, 2009 at 1:58 pm

    i know that finger print hahaha thanks for sharing this great tutorial man! i really liked it!

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  • Reply Menekali January 29, 2010 at 3:19 am

    What about this is ‘classic horror’? Looks amateurish at best and, you’d honestly charge someone .99 for this PSD? Are you serious?

  • Reply Charlie Street February 7, 2010 at 4:08 pm

    Nice blog post. Interesting way to go about creating the effect.

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