10 Monster Movies The Mummy Needs To Improve Upon

Because nobody wants to see The Mummy Untold.

Dracula Untold
Universal Pictures

Due in June 2017, The Mummy is Universal’s latest attempt to reboot one of its classic monster franchises, but instead of a stand-alone picture it’s the first movie in a series of interconnected films.

Taking inspiration from the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Universal have brought in Chris Morgan (Furious 7) and Alex Kurtzman (Transformers) to reimagine the old films as action spectacles for the comic book crowd, with Johnny Depp set to play The Invisible Man and Javier Bardem slated to appear as Frankenstein’s Monster.

In The Mummy, Russell Crowe plays Dr Henry Jekyll, but this incarnation of the character is as far removed from the source material as it’s possible to get. The voice of Prodigium, a SHIELD-like organization, Jekyll seems to be the shared universe’s Nick Fury, bringing superheroes together to fight evil.

Tom Cruise plays Nick Morton, who in the trailer appears to die when his military jet crashes, but in the next shot he’s shown sitting up on a slab in the morgue, very much alive. Could the sarcophagus he was transporting have something to do with that, or is there more to the character than meets the eye?

To say the movie faces an uphill struggle to win audiences over is putting it mildly: most monster films from the last twenty years have been critical and/or commercial disappointments, little more than effects showcases that even though they promised the world delivered nothing very special.

Here are 10 of them.

10. The Phantom Of The Opera (2004)

Dracula Untold
Warner Bros.

Based on the Andrew Lloyd Webber musical (and bearing little resemblance to the Universal or Hammer adaptations of Gaston Leroux’s novel), The Phantom Of The Opera has the distinction of being the first film that put yours truly to sleep.

You settle in for an epic gothic melodrama, but it’s just two and a half hours of luvvies addressing each other in rhyming couplets that could’ve been written by a pretentious English student. “Sing once again with me our strange duet,” croons the Phantom at one point. “My power over you grows stronger yet.”

The Phantom is played by Gerard Butler, who despite having previously fought mummies and dragons (he’s also the lead in Dracula 2000) doesn’t rival our memories of Lon Chaney, Claude Rains or Herbert Lom (or Julian Sands, for that matter). After a first half where nothing much happens, you begin to nod off only to wake up moments later wondering if you missed anything.



Ian Watson is the author of 'Midnight Movie Madness', a 600+ page guide to "bad" movies from 'Reefer Madness' to 'Poultrygeist: Night of the Chicken Dead.'