Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness has, after much anticipation, finally arrived at the MCU! The movie, directed by Sam Raimi, has so far received a range of responses from critics and audiences. However, we almost all seem to agree that this long-awaited sequel provides us with a refreshing change from the usual action-adventure movies of the MCU. It is, somewhat surprisingly, a horror movie.
From eyeball gouging to impaling, the movie is not short of its body horror. Blood and guts are exceptional images in the MCU – if you see them, the movie is getting really dark. But Raimi pushes the limits of the family-friendly MCU that Disney has forged with some gory imagery that can truly make you squirm.
It also draws on the thriller aspect of the horror genre. Sequences of suspense and jump scares help create an almost entirely new tone for this MCU film. Audiences used to the adrenaline of action sequences are in for a treat with the spine-tingling tension of some of these scenes.
Alongside this, an excellent score from Danny Elfman combines this film’s horror vibe with the familiarity of the MCU. You can hear the inspiration of classic horror as much as you can the modern sound of Marvel. The score adds to the tension immensely to enhance the feeling that this is a horror film.
The primary stars of the Multiverse reprise their roles with as much success as was anticipated. Benedict Cumberbatch features again as the titular Dr. Stephen Strange. He shows off his talent through the appearances of the horror-inspired characters Strange Supreme and Zombie Strange. But it is Elizabeth Olsen who steals the show with her reprise of Wanda Maximoff/Scarlet Witch.
She makes us love, hate, fear, and grieve for Wanda all at once as she shows off her range of skills with such a dynamic performance. Again, she brings horror to the forefront of the movie with her often physically and emotionally disturbing performances.
This glimpse into the MCU’s Multiverse is a truly welcomed one, shifting us out of the sometimes monotonous, entirely action-inspired tone that we have come to expect from Marvel Studios movies. For fans of the MCU, it is an exciting addition to Phase Four.
Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness is in cinemas now.