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New Escapist Column! On “M3GAN”, “Renfield”, “Cocaine Bear”, “Knock at the Cabin” and the Enduring Appeal of Universal Horror…

I published a new In the Frame piece at The Escapist this evening. This week, with the release of M3GAN, Renfield, Cocaine Bear and Knock at the Cabin all in the first four months of the year, it seemed like as good a time as any to consider Universal’s embrace of the horror movie and creature feature.

For the next couple of months, Avatar: The Way of Water is just going to dominate the box office. It will be unchallenged until the release of Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania in mid-February. However, what’s interesting is that other studios aren’t necessarily hiding from this. In fact, they’re releasing smaller and lower-budget movies in the space, in the hopes that they can quietly earn back relatively impresive box office on a low investment. In particular, Universal is returning to one of the studio’s most reliable models: the low-budget horror movie and creature feature.

You can read the piece here, or click the picture below.

Non-Review Review: Dracula (1931)

I have a soft spot for classic Universal horror. Not that it should come as a surprise – I’m a sucker (ha!) for some vintage Hammer Horror as well, and all other forms of classical horror (even if they may occasionally veer into the realm of kitsch). It’s really hard to overstate the massive influence that the 1931 Universal version of Dracula had on the subsequent adaptations of Stoker’s truly iconic novel. I honestly don’t believe that the character would the same without Bela Lugosi’s truly magnificent central performance, as seen here. Sure, I’m less than convinced about the ending, but most of Tod Browning’s adaptation is a feast for the eyes and pulpy horror classic.

Stairway to heaven?

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