2017: The Year of the Monster Movie Revival?
KONG: SKULL ISLAND is ONLY the beginning! King Kong WILL fight Godzilla. Aliens will continue bursting out of chests, too and mummies will keep rising, while Jason and Freddy fight it out and Chucky wants to play and Pennywise is offering you a balloon. Yep. It’s MONSTER MASH: 2017!
Ghosts and warlocks, monsters and witches – these were always among the preferred villains moviemakers chose for their works. This is a tradition that goes back right to the beginnings of cinema: movie pioneer Georges Méliès directed his first horror film, called The Haunted Castle, in 1896.
The movie features witches, bats, phantoms, and the Devil himself, and is widely considered the first horror movie ever created. His silent monsters and spirits have spawned generations of movie monsters, zombies, cannibals, serial killers, and all combinations of the above. Some of the best-known movie monsters – aside from the Universal classics like Dracula, Frankenstein’s creature, Kong Kong, or the Wolfman – were created in the 1970s and the 1980s, leaving their footprints on popular culture for generations to come.
People have seen them in TV shows and movies, video games, and even casual games like slot machines at the Royal Vegas that they could enjoy right after redeeming their free casino welcome bonus credit.
This year, we’ll see quite a few of them revive once more for a fresh take on the silver screen, and many of them will perhaps also make it to the Royal Vegas. We’ve seen this type of deal before: the Royal Vegas has launched games like Terminator 2: Judgement Day and Jurassic Park mere months before the movies that served as an inspiration for them have returned to the big screen. This year’s line-up of monster movie revivals provides game developers with a list of beloved movie monsters to reach out for inspiration.
Aliens return to the silver screen
Ridley Scott’s original Alien movie, released in 1979, has spawned not only a popular movie/comic book/video game franchise but a series of copycats and epigones, too. It was, after all, “possibly the definitive combination of horror thriller with science fiction trappings”, as it was praised by author David McIntee.
The 1979 original was continued with a 1986 sequel that was praised by the audience and the critics alike and two more that were not that well received by the masses. The franchise’s communion with the Predator was also not quite what the audiences were looking for. No Alien movies were made between 1997’s Alien Resurrection and 2012’s Prometheus, with the latter being not as much a prequel than a parallel story happening in the same universe.
Finally, two decades after the last feature film in the franchise (we will not count AvP), a new Alien film is set to hit the market. Will it be able to live up to our expectations? It remains to be seen.
The Mummy returns once again
The Mummy has first found its way to the silver screen in 1911. Since then, the re-animated Egyptian priest Imhotep has returned to the silver screen a number of times, in numerous remakes and sequels, including 1999’s The Mummy, with Academy Award nominee Brendan Fraser and Academy Award winner Rachel Weisz in the main roles. I
mhotep was put back into the grave, though, for almost two decades. This year, in turn, a Mummy – this time Princess Ahmanet – will be once again revived, hopefully in a more horror/mystery form than the previous one. The movie will be the first in a series of Universal Monsters remakes, sharing the same universe.
Movie monsters that should stay dead already
In a display of their lack of creativity and capability to cogitate new ideas, filmmakers will this year revive a few monsters that have resisted revival in the past. One of them will be Freddie Krueger, the child killer slash dream monster of the Elm Street who has been around since 1984. After a failed reboot in 2010, Freddie returns once more to the silver screen, this time in a feature film called First Kill: An Elm Street Legend. To make things even worse, a sequel to 2003’s Freddy vs. Jason is also planned to be released in 2018.
Another movie monster that refuses to die is the hockey mask wearing, machete wielding immortal serial killer Jason Voorhees. After several failed reboots, Jason will return once more, this time in October 2017 – you guessed it, it will be a Friday the 13th.
Movie monsters, like Charles Lee Ray (Child’s Play), Leatherface (The Texas Chainsaw Massacre), are also expected to return to the silver screen this year, for the nth time. You can expect them to fail spectacularly once more – after all, not even Hollywood directors should play with dead things.