Universal Gives the Finger to Horror

Studio execs make excuses for screwing over the audience

As reported in this story at The Hollywood Reporter, Universal has decided that their new, Marvel-inspired Monster-verse movies are going to completely reject the legacy on which a huge aspect of their company’s early success was built.  Says chairman Donna Langley,

We don’t have any capes [in our film library]. But what we do have is an incredible legacy and history with the monster characters. We’ve tried over the years to make monster movies — unsuccessfully, actually. So, we took a good, hard look at it, and we settled upon an idea, which is to take it out of the horror genre, put it more in the action-adventure genre and make it present day, bringing these incredibly rich and complex characters into present day and reimagine them and reintroduce them to a contemporary audience.

See this?  This, right here?  THIS is your problem.

See this? This, right here? THIS is your problem.

First off, other than the recent re-make of The Wolf-Man (2010), when was the last time that Universal seriously tried to make a horror movie using these characters.  That certainly wasn’t what they were doing with The Mummy (1999) or Van Helsing (2004).  And where The Wolf-Man fell short, it wasn’t in the horror, it was in the awkward, lifeless human drama.

Sorry, but if you can’t make an effective Frankenstein movie by focusing on the abject and the uncanny, it’s not because contemporary audiences aren’t responding to the concept, it’s because you’re not hiring filmmakers who understand how to produce abject and uncanny material well.

Horror fans, we’re being swept under the rug by executives too dense to figure out how to squeeze the juice out of a ripe orange.


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