A Slasher-Horror Shared Cinematic Universe?

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Recently there seems to be a resurgent interest to reboot many of the popular slasher and horror franchises from the 1980's with plans to bring slasher icons like Jason Vorhees, Michael Myers, Freddy Krueger, Leatherface and Pinhead back to the big screen for a new generation of horror fans. While the studios behind these once popular horror properties may be keen to capitalize on an ever growing fan base, as evidenced by the inclusion of Freddy Krueger, Jason Vorhees, and Leatherface in last two Mortal Kombat video games, it would seem that according to many recent reports that the planned reboots for each of these iconic franchises are each stuck in development hell.

One key factor as to why each of these franchises is struggling to relaunch themselves will be that, with the exception of the Hellraiser series, each of the properties has already been rebooted in recent years. Taking into consideration the low production budgets of these movies and the average box office takings of $90 million for each reboot, each has technically been a commercial success. Critically, however, none of these recent reboots have surpassed a rating of 40% from Rotten tomatoes, showing a less than favorable reception from both fans and general cinema audiences. Technically each of these reboots has been produced with (relatively) high production values unlike their shoestring budget predecessors, but yet each of these reboots has suffered a backlash from both fans and critics for failing to recreate the necessary ingredients that transformed the originals into classics.

Each of these once iconic franchises is struggling to recreate themselves for modern audiences despite their growing popularity, as evidenced by the release of 2011's Mortal Kombat and this year's Mortal Kombat XL. Yet if the studios behind these franchises were to work together and capitalize on the popularity and success of 2003's Freddy vs Jason and this years Sadako vs Kayako, a shared universe could be established in which all of these titular villains co-exist. Unlike Marvel Studios template, I imagine a slasher-horror cinematic universe would be smaller in scale with tenuous links between individual movies such as a shared mental hospital, a shared sheriff department etc., with the occasional face-off between characters as event movies every few years, with individual installments from each franchise spread in between so that 2-3 movies from the Slasher-Horror CU are released each year.

With the event movies released every few years around Halloween, a popular holiday in the US, and the individual installments releasing at easter and the start of fall (autumn), the lesser used periods for big cinema releases, a Slasher-Horror CU could become a highly profitable and successful way in which to bring these iconic franchises into the 21st century. It goes without saying that for all of this to be successful each franchise has to be given the appropriate amount of love from a creative team of producers, directors, and writers overseeing the whole universe. This is why Marvel Studios is enjoying almost unrivaled success, because of president Kevin Feige and his creative team.

Imagine a Halloween remake in which the Dr. Sam Loomis meets with his boss Dr. Philip Channard, who has a collection of Lament Configuration puzzle boxes. Imagine the Creeper from Jeepers Creepers running some teenagers off the road in his rusty pickup truck only for them to be abducted by the cannibalistic Hewitt family from the Texas Chainsaw Massacre movies. And finally imagine Michael Myers and Jason Vorhees trading blows in a similar fashion to when Arnold Schwarzenegger's Terminator met Robert Patricks liquid metal T-1000.

Gavin

9,516 XP2016-07-30 03:28:34
2 Comments

Chris

AdminAtmanJul-30-2016 7:09 AM

I'm not usually in support of meshing a bunch of similar franchises together, but the slasher genre is one that could greatly benefit from such a move. 

I've always found slasher films to have a fairly limited plot range and thus, reboots and sequels are nothing more than rehashed ideas with a new cast. They're painfully predictable.

We need a sophisticated approach to this genre - nobody's managed to accomplish that yet. We need an intricate back story or all of the antagonists and protagonists involved. It needs to break away from the "slasher formula" and reinvent each franchise in a brand new way.

If someone can pull that off, I'm all for it!

Durp004

MemberInitiateJul-30-2016 8:46 AM

Eh, I'm not sure this is the fix we need for these characters. As Chris said they've all been done to death, Jason's been to space, Michael was in a reality tv show, Freddy actually broke the 4th wall in New Nightmare, and the less said about most of the Texas Chainsaw Massacre follow ups the better. This is a problem that putting them into a shared universe wouldn't really solve. The fact is most of these movies had 1-2 actually good movies to their name even though some have like 8+. I mean the last super successful slasher that got real praise was Scream and that was pretty much just a satire of the genre done incredibly well.

 

If they absolutely have to bring the characters back I guess might as well do a shared universe, but I don't see that alone correcting the problems the movies face. While I love these characters there needs to be a passing of the torch to new "monsters" more fit for this time.

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