Just like with fashion we can look back at horror movie trends and see the future of horror movies. We watched as Lestat, Buffy and Miss Pandemonium make way for Werewolves, Mummies and Zombies until each one was played out in our collective cultural attention span. So writers, movie producers and, most importantly, horror fans are all wondering what’s next. As the twinkle of Edward Cullen’s skin begins to fade, Zombies finally get married and giant Japanese monsters have awoken yet again. What creature will fill the enormous gap left behind? Not just one offs, like poor Frankenstein, but a monster popular enough to last several movies. The answer is Mummies.
For nearly 200 years Mummies have fascinated popular Western Culture and have not shown any sign of stopping. From the very first time Modern Europe began to feast their eyes upon King Tut and his treasures Western Civilization began to worry… what if there is a curse on his tomb. What if that creepy cadaver stands up and tries to eat us for disturbing his rest? We have been looking over our shoulder for these 200 years and I don’t suspect that’s going to change anytime soon.
The Fey Folk
The little people… I mean fairies… I mean the diminutive supernatural folk who reside in the woods. Leprechauns have had their own horror franchise, sprites and pixies have dominated the cartoon world for nearly 50 years, and Pan’s Labyrinth might even fall into this category. I have to say, after you read about the fey in Irish folklore you sure won’t be wondering around The Bog of Allen for a while. But let’s face it; these little guys will never compete with the big three. Vampires, Mummies and…
Werewolves are probably my next favorite to win the movie monster of the year award. They have a ton of depth to their plot possibilities, from the tortured soul who suffers from Lycanthropy to the organized society that hunts down Vampires as a matter of duty. The amount of material already made for these guys is tremendous but I suspect our culture just isn’t relating to the living monsters these days. With the rampant consumerism, medications and apathy in our world today we are craving the Undead.
So although Werewolves probably have Werewolves beat for franchises, movies made and even plot possibilities I still believe the Mummies will come out top. There are three reasons for this, two I have already mentioned. They have lasting power in our collective unconscious, they are undead and the other reason… tourism. That’s right, tourism. Egypt has recently undergone a revolution and is slowly rebuilding its infrastructure so it can convince the wealthy in the world that it can support a safe tourism industry yet again. This means commercials, travel deals and lots of lots of Museum tours for their collections. What does that have to do with Mummy movies? Well like all good ad campaigns it creates a desire. A desire for Egyptian culture, a desire to see Egypt and it is a desire that will be unlikely to be met for most moviegoer budgets. But what they can’t travel to go and see they can experience in 3D with popcorn and pop. Not only that but they can get all the beauty of the Pyramids and treasures without ever having to walk around a boring museum. Mummies fighting werewolves, Mummies falling in love, Mummies seeking revenge, and let’s not forget the movie I’m most looking forward to; Mummies on a Cruise ship.
So as you begin to write your blogs, scripts and journal entries tonight remember that you heard it here first. Mummies are your next major movie trend.