Universal monster movies reboots will be horror, partly

Alex Kurtzman insists that the Universal monster movie remakes won’t just be action

Boris Karloff in The Mummy
Boris Karloff in The Mummy
Boris Karloff in The Mummy

We all made a collective sound like someone getting murdered by an ancient, recently reawoken evil (well, we did anyway) when it was reported that Universal’s upcoming monster movie reboots/remakes/reimaginings would be more action oriented than horror.

Speaking at the TCAs (via Bloody Disgusting), Alex Kurtzman, who is currently working on The Mummy, stated that the lack of horror was perhaps overstated.

“I think there was some lost in translation quality to the way it was received, because I promise you there will be horror in these movies,” he said. “It is our life goal to make a horror movie. The tricky part is actually how you combine horror with either adventure or suspense or action and be true to all the genres together. In some way, Mummy, dating all the way back to the Karloff movie, was the first to do that. It was the first to combine horror with — I wouldn’t say action, but certainly a lot of suspense. So it’s more about how you blend the different elements and stay true to each one, but there will definitely be horror in the monster movies…We will hopefully serve it up good and plenty.”

Kurtzman stepped in as director of The Mummy after Mama director Andrés Muschietti dropped out, allegedly due to the fact that the film was moving away from the horror he envisioned. The film is being written by Jon Spaihts (Prometheus). Meanwhile, Noah Hawley, who did fantastic work with the Fargo TV series, is also writing an as-yet unnamed Universal monster movie.

So it remains to be seen just exactly what the tone is for these films. We’re certainly hoping for something better than Dracula Untoldwhich went for action fantasy over horror and ended up being a disappointing mishmash of the two, complete with a clunky, sequel-friendly coda. No more like that, please.

The Mummy will be released on 24 March 2017. Keep up with the latest genre news with the new issue of SciFiNow.