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  • Writer's pictureAllan Major

The Burning 1981 Movie Poster

Featured Image For Did you know "A Nightmare on Elm Street" is based on real events? Uncover the true story that inspired Wes Craven's iconic horror film.   Poster for the horror movie "The Burning," featuring a couple embracing by a lake with a shadowy figure holding large garden shears in the background.
In "The Burning," the serene summer camp setting is shattered by the return of a vengeful killer, once burned and left for dead. As night falls, the legend of Cropsy becomes a horrifying reality, turning innocent campfire tales into a blood-soaked nightmare.

"The Burning," directed by Tony Maylam and released in 1981, is a classic slasher film that has garnered a cult following over the years. The poster for this film captures the essence of the horror and suspense that permeates the movie, effectively drawing viewers in with its striking imagery and ominous tone.

Visual Elements

The poster features a prominent image of a pair of garden shears held high against the backdrop of a fiery sunset. The shears, symbolizing the weapon of the film's killer, Cropsey, are positioned in a way that makes them the focal point of the poster. The sun sets behind them, casting long shadows and creating an almost apocalyptic feel, suggesting that terror is about to descend on the peaceful summer camp below.

Below the shears, a young couple embraces in the water, oblivious to the impending danger. This juxtaposition of romance and horror highlights the film's themes of innocence lost and the sudden eruption of violence. The idyllic setting of the summer camp, with its rustic cabins and tranquil lake, contrasts sharply with the menacing presence of the shears, hinting at the gruesome events to come.

Typography and Title Design

The title "The Burning" is displayed at the bottom of the poster in a bold, red font that mimics flames, reinforcing the fiery theme. The tagline above the title, "It will take you further than fear," adds to the sense of dread and anticipation. The use of red and orange tones throughout the poster ties the elements together and emphasizes the theme of fire and destruction.

Tagline and Description

The tagline, "A legend of terror is no campfire story anymore!" further sets the tone for the film. It hints at the campfire tales that are often told to scare campers but suggests that this particular story has deadly consequences. This plays on the audience's familiarity with campfire horror stories, making the threat seem more real and immediate.

Contextual Background

"The Burning" follows the story of Cropsey, a summer camp caretaker who is horrifically burned in a prank gone wrong. After years of recovery and harboring a desire for revenge, Cropsey returns to the camp to wreak havoc on a new group of campers. The film is known for its intense gore and creative kills, a hallmark of the slasher genre.

The poster's imagery effectively captures the essence of the film. The shears, as the killer's weapon of choice, are a direct reference to the movie's most iconic scenes. The romantic couple in the water adds an element of vulnerability, suggesting that even moments of peace and joy are not safe from the lurking terror. The setting sun and the camp in the background evoke the classic summer camp atmosphere, making the poster relatable to anyone who has experienced camp life.


The poster for "The Burning" is a masterful example of horror movie marketing. It uses strong, evocative imagery to convey the film's themes of violence and terror. The contrast between the peaceful camp setting and the menacing shears creates a sense of impending doom, drawing viewers in and piquing their curiosity about the film.

The effective use of color, composition, and symbolism in the poster makes it a standout piece of promotional material. It not only captures the essence of the film but also intrigues potential viewers, promising a chilling and unforgettable horror experience. The poster's ability to evoke fear and anticipation through its visual elements makes it a powerful tool in building interest and excitement for "The Burning."

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