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New Escapist Column! On the Hubristic Tragedy of the Dark Universe…

I published a new In the Frame piece at Escapist Magazine this evening. With the release of The Invisible Man this week, which is quite good, I took a look back to Universal Studios’ abandoned and cursed Dark Universe.

Frankly, there is no way to talk about the Dark Universe without acknowledging it as one of the greatest acts of cinematic hubris in the twenty-first century. The whole misbegotten experiment was transparently a result of Universal looking at the success of The Avengers, and deciding to built its own imitation using whatever properties it found lying down the back of the couch. The result was Dracula Untold and The Mummy (along with one of the most hilariously ambitious pieces of marketing ambition in living memory), two of the worst-reviewed blockbusters of the decade.

Luckily, The Invisible Man is a fantastic piece of work, a shrewd and sophisticated horror that is more interested in telling its own story than existing as a piece of “content” for a larger shared universe. You can read the piece here, or click the picture below.

One Response

  1. About that “remade a horror movie as a blockbuster” thing… To be fair, the original “The Mummy” remake kind of did this already. It basically split the difference between being a remake of the thirties horror movie, and being a rip-off of the Indiana Jones trilogy which occupied a much bigger place in nineties audiences’ minds. And it worked!

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