We Need To Talk About Kevin Gets An Odd New Poster

The new Lynne Ramsay film, We Need To Talk About Kevin, has been generating a lot of heat this awards season. It was nominated for 6 British Independent Spirit Awards with Ramsay walking away with Best Director. The amazing Tilda Swinton was deservedly nominated for Best Actress at last Sunday’s Golden Globe Awards - and will probably find herself in a similar position at The Academy Awards - but sadly she lost to some young up and comer named Meryl Streep. The BAFTA nominations were announced only yesterday and the film received 3 including Outstanding British Film, Director and Leading Actress. That’s a lot of really positive buzz for a film that comes out in just over a week, too bad the marketing campaign just released this awful throwback poster.

Okay, awful may be a bit strong but the new one-sheet for the intense drama is at the very least misleading. First posted by Ain’t It Cool News, the poster for Kevin looks like it was stolen straight from the 60s/70s horror film archives with it being an obvious riff on Rosemary’s Baby with perhaps touches of It’s Alive and even Jaws too (that might just be me). I’m not saying that that Kevin isn’t terrifying, he’s one bad seed, but he’s a figurative monster while those films feature supernatural or demonic characters and, well, a giant monster shark. I just don’t see why you would want to make a comparison that would take away a lot of the film’s power, power that is born out of the very fact that he is human. Those literal monsters may be scary but nothing is more horrifying than realizing that the figurative ones are flesh and blood human beings. They exist.

And on top of Oscilloscope sending the wrong marketing message, the poster is ugly to boot. There is nothing appealing or even clever about the design and the typography borders on the ridiculous. We Need To Talk About Kevin is a very serious, very artistic film and the poster they’ve released to advertise it kind of looks like a poorly made fan mash-up. It belongs with a move like Splice - not a statement of quality - not for the serious awards contender that I outlined above. Honestly, I’m not sure why I have such disdain for the poster since I don’t care for the film (Swinton and Ezra Miller deliver great performances, that’s what I took from it) but maybe if even a detractor thinks the film deserves better, Oscilloscope should rethink its strategy. Or I’m the crazy one. What do you think?

We Need To Talk About Kevin opens in New York on January 13, and expands wider from there.