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Why Universal Is Selling Tom Cruise’s ‘The Mummy’ As A Horror Movie

Universal/Comcast Corp. dropped their second trailer for The Mummy yesterday. The trailer was part of Universal’s CinemaCon presentation, along with a spoilerific Despicable Me 3 trailer, some Q&A for Girl Trip and the world premiere of The Fate of the Furious (review coming a week from today). The 2.5-minute clip is a bit more of an “explain bits and pieces of the plot” sell as opposed to the comparatively cryptic teaser. But, as you’ll see if you watch the trailer, the emphasis is still on horror over action. They are trying to sell the idea that this new version of The Mummy is scary first and exciting second. That’s a clear and valuable distinction.

That’s not a new idea. Even the initial marketing for Stephen Sommers’ The Mummy sold itself as a mix of high terror and high adventure before doubling down on swashbuckling for the sequels. And yeah, there are a couple of visual callbacks in the trailer, including a nod to the first film’s money shot, with a giant face becoming a giant sandstorm that looked out-of-this-world back in 1999. We get plenty of clips of our title character (Sofia Boutella) being scary, killing folks and causing city-threatening (or world-threatening) peril on a grand scale. 

That’s not a new idea. Even the initial marketing for Stephen Sommers’ The Mummy sold itself as a mix of high terror and high adventure before doubling down on swashbuckling for the sequels. And yeah, there are a couple of visual callbacks in the trailer, including a nod to the first film’s money shot, with a giant face becoming a giant sandstorm that looked out-of-this-world back in 1999. We get plenty of clips of our title character (Sofia Boutella) being scary, killing folks and causing city-threatening (or world-threatening) peril on a grand scale. 

And we get lots of conventional horror tropes as well, not the least of which is the notion that Tom Cruise’s character survived the initial plane crash so as to be an unwilling Renfield to this new Mummy (yes, I know, Renfield is from Dracula, but you know what I mean). So, yeah, this is a somewhat expensive movie with Tom Cruise jumping and running and looking very concerned for the fate of humanity. But it also trying to sell itself less like yet another summer action blockbuster and more as a very big-scale horror movie that happens to star one of the biggest movie stars in the world. 

More Details @ Forbes

 

 

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