The “Dark Universe” May Be Dead But The Universal Monsters Live On! Leigh Wannell To Direct ‘The Invisible Man’

They just won’t die! The Universal Monsters; Frankenstein’s Monster and his Bride, Dracula, The Creature from the Black Lagoon, The Mummy, The Wolfman, and The Invisible Man. For almost 100 years these names have been the stars of nightmares delivered via movie theater…but lately they just can’t catch a break. Until now. There was a big push for the “Dark Universe” that started with Benicio Del Toro’s Wolfman flick, then Tom Cruise’s The Mummy last year, both flopped and just like that the revival was done. It’s been almost 20 years since we had a good movie featuring one of these subjects with 1999’s The Mummy starring Brendan Fraser. Why has it been so hard to bring these characters back to the top of the horror list? I have a few ideas. First and foremost, a big named star does not a good horror movie make. It works for action, but horror needs a bit more, see the aforementioned Tom Cruise flick for proof. Second, they wanted to go big, again, horror just doesn’t work that way. If you look back through every horror film ever made you’ll see that the words Blockbuster and Horror rarely yield good results when combined.

This is where the smartest guy working in horror today comes in, Jason Blum. He gets the core of what makes horror work and has proven this time and again. It gets better though, Leigh Wannell, writer of Saw and Insidious and one of the architects behind the popular trends in horror for the last 20 years has revealed he’ll be directing via his Twitter feed.

Most recently he’s sat in the director’s chair on last years criminally under-rated Upgrade. The guy has earned the respect I’m giving him without question. With Whannell working under Blumhouse there’s really only a slim chance this doesn’t work. It will bring the story back to it’s roots and really explore the primal terror of the character.

Now, The Invisible Man wouldn’t be my choice to start Blumhouse’s run at these characters, but look at it this way, remember how you felt the first time you saw Paranormal Activity? We’ll, I’d imagine it’s going to feel something like that except instead of a ghost is crazy old Dr. Frank from down the street. If and when they make this work, there’s literally nothing they can’t do. Can you imagine a take on Dracula with the gritty realism of Insidious?