The Mummy: Tom Cruise, Horror, and My Thoughts

     I'm not going to lie, when I first heard Universal wanted to reboot their monster movie franchises as a sort of group meetup like an Avengers-featuring horror icons like the Mummy, Invisible Man, Wolfman, and Dracula- I was a little excited.  You know, getting back to the roots of horror film classics and slowly bring them together into one grand story down the road.

     But of course, I should've known better.  After watching the trailer it should've been evident that Universal would completely disregard what made those old films classics by tossing out horror film tension for short-term action spectacle. and ignoring all the substance that made them the special timeless characters they are.  The Tom Cruise version of The Mummy. is a typical Cruise staple- action, running, absurd stunts, and the all too common world threatening events.  What happened to the small and intimate stories?  In the right hands a monster movie can be the simplest story of one hero and one villain and still maintain a tremendous amount of emotion and tension if done properly- it could be an unbelievably moving experience.

     It's getting really irritating that the studios keep putting big names* up as the leads in these films- it winds up shoehorning the story to fit certain molds.  We know Tom Cruise won't truly die.  We know his peril is only on the surface and he'll never be subject to some awful fate.  The trailer even features some of Cruise's most common activities- running from explosions, riding in crashing planes, and looking generally confused about a plot he hasn't figured out yet.  I mean look at the extremely amazing Edge of Tomorrow, it should've ended with him blowing the hell out of the creature at the end and dying- then it should've cut to a scene much later with the military digging through the rubble and piecing the story together and not that stupid forced love-story happy ending they went with.  The studios pull punches to tell a safe story, and not take the chance that the better tale will strike well with audiences.  I mean if they let pieces of shit like Dracula Untold, Hugh Jackman's Van Helsing, or Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters why can't they make more films like the original version of Let the Right One In (definitely not the American remake)?  Something extremely well done with great care, wonderful subtlety, and true horror tension behind it.

     We need something more films like Scorsese's Dracula  rather than Brendan Fraser's Mummy.  Mind you, I'm not saying the film will be bad, but I just have very little faith in it as a real horror film.  What we'll likely get is a typical Cruise action movie with the faces of horror plastered over it giving us in the end an entertaining yet hollow end product.  We could use a good dose of fear and terror on the big screen.  We want real dread.  We crave the terror.  We need the fright of things like the original Poltergeist, not the more recent wave of cheap jump-scare garbage and gore-porn crap that studios seem to be churning out and attempting to pass off as horror.  We want people who understand what makes things fundamentally scary first, and then add action later.

     Please studios, remedy this problem swiftly, audiences will appreciate the smart and tense films much more than the explosion-filled action pieces.

*A note on the big names- if they could get the right Director's to make the big names go with the roles without the actors holding sway over the stories they're in then I might have a different view.  Though I do think it's awesome that Sofia Boutella is playing the Mummy.  She's been quite good in her last few roles.

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