Tattered, torn and oozing with nostalgia, a series of book covers designed by Elizabeth Belsky transforms contemporary horror movies into pulpy works of art. Ari Aster’s “Hereditary,” Robert Eggers’ “The Witch” and Jordan Peele’s “Us” are among some of the films rendered into the frightful visions.
Belsky shared the paperback creations to Twitter on Monday in what quickly became a viral tweet. In it, she gives a nod to Grady Hendrix, author of “Paperbacks from Hell,” which takes a gleeful trip through the “twisted history” of 1970s and 1980s mass-market horror.
My little personal project of the month: reimagining modern horror films as trade paperbacks from the '70s and '80s. (Shoutout to @grady_hendrix's PAPERBACKS FROM HELL for the inspiration.) It is… fun. pic.twitter.com/AlYdKTrogJ
— Elizabeth Boo!sky (@elizabethbelsky) October 12, 2020
Based on the distinct aesthetic of mass-market horror novels, the covers are complete with the pithy lines adorning the lovingly worn paperbacks. “Jennifer’s Body” by Karyn Kusama is stamped with the phrase, “She’s not killing people — she’s killing boys!” Other renderings, like Anna Biller’s “The Love Witch,” have the tag flowing from teaser to title (here, “Nothing can protect you from the vastly evil sensuality of ‘The Love Witch'”).
“I work in publishing and spend all day surrounded by books, so I’m pretty attenuated to art and design trends in the industry,” Belsky, who is a senior marketing manager at Hatchette Books, wrote to ALL ARTS. “And as a design nerd, I’m really interested in the hyper-specific, often nostalgia-inducing styles of cover design associated with mostly mass-market and trade paperbacks over the years, especially in genres we consider ‘lowbrow’ like horror and YA of the ’80s and early ’90s. I wanted to play with that sense of nostalgia and fun by recreating modern pop culture properties in one of those instantly-recognizable styles.”
Though Belsky doesn’t own the rights to transform the works into prints, she shared the files in Dropbox for fans to collect and possibly even create their own.
Without further ado, take a look at the gallery horrors below.