The poster for The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo does not appear to reveal much information about the movie. The poster only shows a sparse background with the two main characters, some imagery, and information regarding the movie, but the poster actually says so much more about the story and themes of the film. The information and interpretations that images provide are endless, and without knowing it we succumb to the carefully crafted messages and meanings that the creators of movie posters, like this one, are trying to convey to the audience.
The poster is in black and white giving an ominous tone. The font is comprised of sharp, precise lines forming the letters. Everything about the font is dramatic and daunting. The letters are reminiscent of the blades of a knife. Light and shadow highlight Rooney Mara’s profile, distinguishing her as a crucial character even though she is placed in the background. Daniel Craig’s face is partially lighted, partially shadowed placing a cloak of mystery on his character’s role in the film. He is positioned in the front of the poster which indicates him as the leading character. Both characters have clouded, serious facial expressions speaking to the tone of the film as both serious and mysterious. The background of the poster is a grey that fades from dark at the top to light at the bottom. The background reveals the shades of grey in the storyline of Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. At the very bottom of the poster is imagery of a white house surrounded by snow and trees. It is a scary and strange image adding to the puzzling effect of the poster. Everything about the design of the poster (the font, background, colors, lighting, etc.) and the characters (facial expression and position) plays on the pathos, or emotions, of the viewer. They become intrigued in the mystery, but also have a sense of danger.
The ethos and logos of the poster come from the words. The tagline, “From the Internationally Best-Selling Trilogy,” provides both credibility and information. It is credible because it is related to the “best-selling trilogy” by the same name. We also get factual information from this because we can tell that the storyline of the movie with be the same as that of the book. By making this the tagline fans of the trilogy are targeted. This movie is also a remake of the same film, which was originally a Swedish thriller. So, just as the book has attracted an international audience, the movie can do the same.
The names of the actors are also on the poster. Daniel Craig, one of the leads, is an established actor, giving further credibility to the film. Rooney Mara, on the other hand, was a lesser known name before this film came out. Having Daniel Craig in the center might have been a ploy to attract viewers to the film by portraying him as having a bigger role than Rooney Mara, who is not as well known. This is misleading because Mara plays an equal, if not bigger, role as Craig in the film. The goal of movie posters is to convince people to see the movie, and I think this poster succeeds. It is alluring in it’s mystery and credible in that it will be loved as much as the books have been. By playing on the ethos, pathos, and logos of the viewer the poster accomplished its purpose.