One Thing Every Universal Monster Reboot Should Learn From The Invisible Man – Screen Rant

The Invisible Man can act as a blueprint if Universal wants to continue their reboots of the classic monsters here's how they can do it.

The Invisible Manremake finally landed Universal a critical and commercial success with one of the studio'sclassic monsterproperties. Part of what makes the film so memorable and affective is that it speaks directly to a modern audiencethrough the language ofcurrent-day social issues. This helps to emphasize the work's intimate psychological horror that contrasts with the studio's previous attempts at rebooting the Universal monsters with a bombastic blockbuster approach.

Despite their iconic status, the Universal classic monsters have had a troubled history in the new millennium. Even before thefailed investment that was the Dark Universe,The Wolfmanproved to be a box office bomb in 2010, while the reviews and returns ofDracula Untoldin 2014 were much tootepid to start a franchise. Hoping to capture the success of Brendan Fraser's desert-adventuring series, Universal launched its shared cinematic Dark Universe with the action-orientedreboot ofThe Mummyin 2017.The result was an embarrassing flop that cost the studio almost $100 million.

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Luckily, Jason Blum and his production company took the reigns from Universal, eager to apply Blumhouse's signature frugal business model to an ailing property. The film cost an inexpensive $7 million to shoot, but the productfeels anything but cheap.The Invisible Mantakes a quieter, more psychological approach to the material, embracing its status as a true horror movie. Perhaps most importantly, director Leigh Whannell managed to update the decades-old story for an audiencewho is more familiar with the #MeToo movement than the Universal classic monsters.

In this way,The Invisible Manis more in line with Blumhouse's "social thrillers" like Get Out than it is with Universal's blockbuster endeavors. Rather than bloating the filmwith references to the past, Whannellgrounds the narrative in the present day, speaking directly to moviegoers aboutrelevantissues through the lens of horror. It's not the pedigree of the Universal monsters thatimproves the story but a concentration on abusive relationships, imbalanced gender standards, and the toxic masculinity of the tech industry. Whannell knows how to makehis movie actually scary,manipulating negative space and sound to heighten the suspense.

Great horror movies usually pinpoint particular social anxieties that resonate with their contemporary audiences and manifest themin killers, creatures, and other sorts of antagonists. A socially conscious approach to horror may not always work since the message can obnoxiously overshadow the scares, but an effectively terrifying commentarycan capture a psychologicalmood that reflects thedistress felt about injustices, inequalities, andthe overall dismal state of current affairs. It's not the present-day setting ofThe Invisible Man that makes the film modern it's the way the narrative so accurately portrays timely fears.

Universal previously tried to update the classic monsterswith flashy special effects and quippier dialogue,butthese rebootsweren't addressing anxieties.The studio should useThe Invisible Manas a blueprint and focus on creating more modestly budgeted horror movies that emphasizenarrative over action.ImagineThe Mummyif it was acautionary tale about theeffects of imperialism, orFrankensteinif it tackled parental relationships.Karyn Kusama (The Invitation) has already signed on to direct aDraculamovie for Blumhouse, claiming that the film will be faithful to Bram Stoker's novel. Considering that the vampire was always a metaphor for the bloodsucking elite class, there's already an opportunity here for updated social commentary and for the legacy ofThe Invisible Manto live on.

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Andrew is a contributing features writer for Screen Rant Horror, as well as for Comic Book Resources. He enjoys trying to see what social commentary he can mine out of the latest horror films, as well as checking up on what's going on in the life of Spider-Man. He also plays bass guitar to exorcise his negative emotions, like the good Mr. Rodgers says you should.

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One Thing Every Universal Monster Reboot Should Learn From The Invisible Man - Screen Rant

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