After the very public demise of Universal’s short-lived Dark Universe, the various Universal Monsters characters (Dracula, The Mummy, Wolfman, Invisible Man, Bride of Frankenstein, etc…) have been in a weird position. Clearly, the studio wants to utilize these well-known, iconic characters, but audiences aren’t ready to embrace the films if they’re subpar. Well, the first post-Dark Universe attempt to revive one of the Monsters is set to happen this week with “The Invisible Man,” and that film’s director has some ideas about how to usher in a new era of Universal horror films.
Speaking to Collider, “The Invisible Man” writer-director Leigh Whannell was asked about any advice he’d give future filmmakers looking to revive any of the Universal Monsters. And though his words may seem obvious to film fans, clearly Universal hasn’t really been taking heed. The crux of his argument is simple—the Universal Monsters need to be scary again.
“Personally, in my own humble opinion, I think these characters have to get back to their roots,” said Whannell. “They were scary when they first came out. And I think a lot of these iconic monsters…they become so ubiquitous in pop culture that it’s drained all the power out of them.”
He continued, “What I would want to see with characters like that is for them to become scary again. Like Dracula is supposed to be terrifying. Now, I watch cartoons where he’s voiced by Adam Sandler, right? It’s more of a cartoonish thing now with the cape and the voice. I think there is a way to make these characters scary again…You have to strip it back to its core idea to make it scary.”
Though it’s unclear how fans will react to “The Invisible Man,” early reviews point to Whannell being successful in making a scary film based on one of the classic monsters, while also updating the character for more modern times. So, perhaps Universal should really look at the formula put forth by the filmmaker and apply it to the other characters.
I mean, it can’t be worse than Tom Cruise’s “The Mummy,” right?
“The Invisible Man” arrives in theaters this Friday.