Predator 2 has it rough. At 29% on Rotten Tomatoes, it is the lowest reviewed of the Predator series (still higher than the two Alien vs. Predator movies though, so there’s that). For the record, I think it’s a little underrated. Yeah, it’s far from a great movie but it’s enjoyable popcorn once you get past the mundane first act. One thing I think Predator 2 does really well is world-building. In fact, I’d say that, of all the Predator sequels, Predator 2 expands and builds on the series mythology the best.
Continuing my Universal Classic Monsters marathon and exposing my wife to movies she probably would have been fine never watching, I turned to The original Mummy series, which ran for six films from 1932 to 1955. As I believe I have mentioned previously, I’ve always been a huge fan of Universal Classic Monsters. As a kid, I begged my parents for the DVD set – and before that I was collecting VHS tapes during the 90s (which had amazing box art by the way).
But, with all that said, I was never a fan of The Mummy. Even as a kid, I only watched this film once. I found it dull and disappointing. After all, I pictured a mummy as a monster in bandages, whereas the 1932 film sheds these after a single sequence. I remember referring to it as “watching a guy kill people through a mirror for an hour and a half.”
My interests have of course evolved since then, and I enjoy many movies now that I did not as a child. So I was curious to see how I would react to The Mummy watching it as an adult. To give you the short version: I think my eight-year old self had some good points.
As part of my recent pandemic-inspired monster movie binge, I turned to Universal’s Creature from the Black Lagoon trilogy, released between 1954 and 1956. The three movies, all of which feature the titular creature, vary in quality. To get the review portion out of the way right here, the casual viewer is better off sticking with the first one: A film that is beautifully shot, has a spectacular soundtrack, and boasts underwater effects that are still impressive today.
Watching the movies, however, I was struck by how horrifying they are. No, the creature is not particularly scary – nor are the films suspenseful. The horror is all in the writing, and the world in which such films were created.