If Marvel Thinks ‘Moon Knight’ Is Horror, Then The MCU Is In Big Trouble

Take a look at Marvel’s upcoming slate and you might notice a scary trend.

After carefully positioning itself as a family-run superhero boutique, the studio takes a steep turn into the occult. Here are some of the confirmed shows and movies coming to the Marvel Cinematic Universe:

Gather around the campfire, because the MCU is gearing up to tell some scary tales – or is it? With the first episode of Moon Knight Already out, the Disney+ series billed as a gritty psychological thriller looks downright docile. Is Marvel deflating? And if so, should horror fans be worried about what this means for future projects? Let’s take a closer look.

Marvel Comics and Horror

Marvel comics aren’t just about your friendly neighborhood Spider-Man. The publisher has introduced cosmic harbingers of dread, demons, vampires, werewolves, walking skeletons, dark witches, zombies, and blobby tentacle monsters of all kinds to terrorize its superheroes and the realities that they protect.

Moon Knight is no exception. Not only does the character serve Khonshu (an ancient Egyptian god and murderous revenge killer), but two of his greatest canonical rivals are downright gruesome. Werewolf By Night (whose comic featured Moon Knight) is a literal werewolf. Meanwhile, Shadow Knight is an evil version of Moon Knight who can emit a radioactive blast from his eyes.

Why, then, has Moon Knight retained the horror?

Can Moon Knight does it still scare us?

Marvel’s take on the ancient Egyptian moon god, Khonsu, strikes fear into viewers and Steven Grant, until he opens his mouth. Courtesy of Disney Plus.

In Episode 1, the only cinematic horror tropes we see are pretty low-key:

  • Khonshu stalks Steven Grant in a hallway, only to be replaced by a petite British old lady
  • A monstrous CGI Jackal chases Steven through the museum – until Mark Spector emerges to punch him
  • Mild body horror in the form of Arthur Harrow’s glass-filled shoes and Steve’s broken jaw snapping back into place

In other words, there is nothing special frightening. But don’t lose hope just yet.

While Marvel has only officially released the first episode of Moon Knight so far, reviewers and other journalists like me were lucky enough to see the first four episodes in advance.

So, dear reader, if you were disappointed by the lack of hair-raising moments in Moon Knight, know that it gets scarier. Episodes 2-4 (arguably the best of the bunch I’ve seen) raise the fears to the point that I sometimes half-covered my eyes.

But only half.

It could also be that Moon Knight the boldest scares are yet to come, culminating in something truly jaw-dropping and spooky in episodes 5 or 6.

After all, head writer Jeremy Slater was behind it The Exorcist TV reboot, while Aaron Morehead and Justin Benson (who co-direct episodes 2 and 4) are best known for Netflix’s deliciously spooky movies. Archives 81 as well as a series of disconcerting independent films, including Spring, Synchronic, and infinity. They’re a scary team, aren’t they? !

What Moon Knight means for Doctor Strange 2

See you next from Marvel? A highly anticipated sequel to Stephen Strange. But this mega-event MCU film comes with its own chilling baggage.

When Marvel first revealed Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness at Comic-Con 2019, then-director Scott Derickson described it as “the first scary MCU movie”. But in the years that followed, Derickson left the project. Now, as part of Moon Knightcan we expect a scary strange doctor continued?

Doctor Strange 2 looks downright scary.wonder

On the one hand, Doctor Strange 2 still has a lot to do in the horror department. The cast includes a witch (Elizabeth Olsen as Wanda Maximoff), numerous potentially evil wizards, and at least one tentacled interdimensional monster.

Perhaps most important is the man behind the camera. Sam Raimi is a director with a proven track record in the horror and superhero genres. You can thank him for both the original Spider-Man live-action and evil Dead trilogies, plus the R-rated superhero movie dark man and the comedy-horror classic drag me to hell. So if Marvel really wants a horror movie, Raimi is more than up to the challenge.

Sam Raimi with sound evil Dead starring Bruce Campbell.Nicholas Hunt/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

Finally, despite the high production value of Marvel’s streaming series, there’s no denying the studio is pouring even more money into its big-screen adventures. If the problem keeps Moon KnightThe fear is financial, Doctor Strange 2 should be able to fix this problem easily. (Although we can’t say the same for future Disney+ releases like this Halloween special or Agatha: House Harkness.)

Again, maybe Moon Knight is proof that Marvel Studios just doesn’t want to to tell scary stories. After all, if there was ever an occasion to get spooky, it was probably Moon Knight. If not now, then when? Disney+ is one thing, but we doubt Disney would risk its box office revenue by betting on horror.

Hopefully Marvel will give fans of scary movies a satisfying answer before too long, but for now we wouldn’t bet on Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness living up to Scott Derickson’s original promise.

Doctor Strange 2 premieres May 4. Moon Knight is streaming now.

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