In this week’s New Releases, The Mummy is dead on arrival, It Comes At Night comes on strong, and Megan Leavey provides a look at a different kind of horror.
1. The Mummy (Universal, 4,034 Theaters, 110 Minutes, Rated PG-13 for violence, action and scary images, and for some suggestive content and partial nudity, Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer at press time: 18% Fresh [147 Reviews]): You can’t blame Universal for wanting to make a shared universe out of their monster properties. People love shared universes after all and the characters are all kinda related anyway. It’s just that the cosmos doesn’t seem to want to them to have one
They had a false start a few years ago with Dracula Untold, which bombed. Now this one faces a stronger Wonder Woman film than anyone anticipated and horrible reviews. You can’t blame Universal for the first thing–even Warners didn’t know how big a hit WW would be. But not bringing a good script? You can blame them for that.
Let this be a lesson for anyone doing a shared universe. You have to work at it. There’s too many options out there for you just to rely on the novelty of the concept.
2. It Comes at Night (A24, 2,533 Theaters, 91 Minutes, Rated R for violence, disturbing images, and language, Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer at press time: 84% Fresh [102 Reviews]): Joel Edgerton wants to protect his family from the evil outside. He also wants to help he fellow humans from the dangers of what the world has become. This is hard to balance. Inviting the wrong people in can endanger his family. And that might be what has just happened.
The whole “trust no one/help everyone” dichotomy is examined by a lot of horror films, but name me a trope that hasn’t. It all comes down to how the examination is executed. Troy Edwards Shults made a big splash with 2015’s Krisha and looks like he’s keeping up the good work here. The reviews say that if you like well-made horror, this is your best bet of the week.
3. Megan Leavey (Bleeker Street, 1,956 Theaters, 116 Minutes, Rated PG-13 for war violence, language, suggestive material, and thematic elements, Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer at press time: 79% Fresh [56 Reviews]): The thing that keeps Hollywood making horror of war movies is that every war brings new horrors. This film, based on a true story, details an unlikely friendship that developed from that horror.
Megan Leavey is a malcontent who joins the Marines to find a place to belong. She joins a K-9 unit designed to find explosive devices on the side of the road. The only dog left for her partner with is one that hates humans as much as she does. Despite all odds they join together to save the lives of hundreds of soldiers.
The trailer seems a bit schmaltzy, but reviews have been good. It might be a good change of pace if made up horror isn’t your thing.
Next week’s new releases will feature Pixar’s weakest franchise heading to the track again, but will if finish ahead of dead rappers, dead strippers and killer sharks?