Earlier this week, Universal announced some brand new plans for yet another attempt to revive their classic Monsters characters. But whereas news such as this has been cause for increasingly more painful groans in recent years, this time it's surprisingly delightful.
Universal has gone and done what everyone with half a brain has been begging for them to do for several years now and given the characters over to Blumhouse to allow them to craft their next batch of films.
Given the unbelievably volatile failure of their previous attempt at reviving these characters with Alex Kurtzman's Tom Cruise-starring The Mummy in 2017, many had been wondering exactly how or if Universal would attempt to course correct this. The choice to move the properties to Blumhouse is intelligent and inspired, which is, frankly, why it comes as a such a surprise.
The last few decades have felt like increasingly unpassionate suits just throwing these characters into various vapid attempts to cash-in on their notoriety. But this announcement shows that the Monsters may finally be in the hands of people who genuinely care about them. The Blumhouse plan is absolutely perfect and here are all the reasons why.
7. Lower Budgets
It's easy to point and laugh at the most recent attempt to revive the Universal Monsters properties, Alex Kurtzman's alleged Dark Universe kick-off film The Mummy, but it's also important to remember that there have now been several decades worth of failed attempts at restarting these properties.
Whether we're talking 2004's Hugh Jackman-starring Van Helsing film, the Luke Evans-starring Dracula Untold, or Kurtzman's Mummy film, each and every one of these attempts has been attempting to fit a square peg into a round hole the entire time. They've all been taking these beloved, classically horror properties and attempting to fit them into the mold of blockbuster action films.
This is almost certainly thanks to the comparative success of the Brendan Frasier-starring Mummy films in the nineties, which reframed the story as a swashbuckling action-adventure, leading Universal to attempt the same for many of their other monsters. But these ludicrous budgets and aspirations were always too big for the films themselves to manage.
Audiences don't want to see Dracula retold in the mold of superhero origin, they just want to see Dracula. Blumhouse's model consists of keeping budgets notoriously tight to generate the largest margin of profit possible and this is the exact approach these attempted reboots should have been taking from the get-go. Smaller budgets mean less pressure to do blockbuster numbers and, ideally, should prevent the films from getting watered-down into PG-13 drivel.