Now DOCTOR STRANGE IN THE MULTIVERSE OF MADNESS has proven that Marvel can do Horror. It has been a known fact for decades that the genre could be handled properly in the comics but not before now that this could be translated onto the big screen. (DC has had greater success with its Horror properties. But that’s not germane to the present discussion.) In fact, the few examples of cinematic attempts at mixing the Marvel formula with the horrific have occurred in non-canonical works, non-Marvel Studios projects—and frankly, most of them (BLADE being the notable exception) have stunk to high heaven. The two GHOST RIDER movies were atrociously bad. And while I loved MAN-THING for what it was, a cheesy B-movie that was fun, it hardly captured the gravitas of the comics. And then there is MORBIUS. Did I enjoy MORBIUS? Yes I did. Was it good? It was pretty good, not great. But can it serve as a guidebook for how to do Horror in superhero movies? No. It has too many structural weaknesses for that.
But Doctor Strange and Sam Raimi nailed it. DOCTOR STRANGE IN THE MULTIVERSE OF MADNESS is a Horror movie, and it is a superhero movie. It succeeds equally as both. So what will Disney do now that they, and we, know that it works? Is there any chance of getting an R-rated Marvel property (that *isn’t* Deadpool)? When we see the Midnight Sons, or Damian Hellstrom, or Man-Thing again—or Mahershala Ali’s BLADE—why not fully embrace the Horror elements? Even if they don’t go for the R, there’s still plenty of the Horror variety that can be done with a PG-13 rating.