Dracula

What Makes the Monster Special: We all know what makes Transylvania’s most iconic goth citizen so infamous, correct? Count Dracula is a vampire who can hypnotize mortals, sucks the blood out of victims, can turn into a bat, and enslave humans as his vampiric cronies for life. It’s noted that Dracula becomes enraged when his plans are foiled, so he’s a control freak as well. Oh, and don’t let sunlight touch him!

The Director: Coralie Fargeat

Why This Director is a Perfect Fit: When I think Count Dracula, I think blood. When I think directors and blood, I now think of Revenge’s Coralie Fargeat and her curious assumption around how much lifegiving liquid our human fleshsacks can hold. How is this not a match made in heaven? I mean, beyond Fargeat permitting her Dracula a ceaseless river of sanguine juices to slurp like a thirsty child with unlimited Capri Sun pouches. How many times have we seen a lothario Count Dracula who preys on doe-eyed females and corrupts innocent schoolgirl types? Ditch the drab blacks and whites, embrace color, and let’s get a Countess Dracula up in here.

Revenge comes from such a place of urgency and injustice, but also blast-from-the-screen style. A Fargeat Dracula gives such an opportunity for this unspeakably seductive retelling from an arena of flipped gender politics. The mistress of night who wraps men around her finger, owns Romanian deco designs, and owns every transfixion. Immeasurable confidence with a strut and wardrobe to match. Yes, we’ve seen female vampires before but not always represented beyond lusty male gazes. In my mind, Fargeat burns those offerings at the stake and does right by Countess Dracula.

Jonathan Barkan – Issa López: After the brilliant Tigers Are Not Afraid, I believe López can slay whatever Universal property she wants – but something about giving her the story of history’s most famous vampire feels right. A story about xenophobia, differences in class, and cultures clashing, Dracula would be fascinating if done from someone bringing their non-American view to the picture.

Anya Stanley – Karyn Kusama: Karyn Kusama’s The Invitation is proof-positive of her ability to strike the most foreboding tone in a plot running on subtleties; a perfect fit for a slow-simmer Dracula joint.

Ariel Fisher – Park Chan-wook: At the core of Dracula’s story is lust, allure, and pure darkness. Park Chan-wook has brought that combination to twisted reality on multiple occasions. His entire filmography is peppered with the violent eroticism necessary to bring Vlad the Impaler to the screen in proper, horrific glory.

Matt Barone – Amy Seimetz: I’d love to see Dracula’s sensuality and romanticized horror handled by a woman, for a change, and I’d also love to see Amy Seimetz make another movie. Her film Sun Don’t Shine is exceptional lo-fi noir, and her work on The Girlfriend Experience at times toyed with unnerving psychological horror—I’d love to see what she could do with the Count.

Chris Evangelista – Park Chan-wook: Park Chan-wook has a real knack for blending the nightmarish with the erotic, which is exactly what you need for Dracula. He’s already made a vampire flick – Thirst. But I’m picturing something akin to his recent The Handmaiden – lush and sweeping and sexy. Make it happen, movie gods.

Marisa Mirabal – Oz Perkins: Atmosphere and set design are pivotal in Dracula, along with an alluring sense of dread. Based on his creepy tone and character building in The Blackcoats Daughter and I Am The Pretty Thing That Lives In The House, Im going with Oz Perkins.

Haleigh Foutch – Jennifer Kent: My mind turns to Jennifer Kent, whose invention of an instantly iconic horror figure like The Babadook was nothing less than visionary. The Babadook also showed what Kent can do with Dracula’s traditional grey and shadowy imagery, and considering the empathy she showed for her terrifying creature, I’d love to see her harken back to the tone of Bram Stoker’s tale and the grotesque, almost pathetic evil of Count Dracula.

Kalyn Corrigan – David Slade: From his work on Hannibal to his work on Black Mirror, to his film Hard Candy, David Slade never ceases to provide visionary storytelling in a grounded environment. He teeters gracefully on the line between exploitation and high art, and always carefully lands on the side of sophistication. He is the one to return Dracula to his former glory, a monster that has over the years, become more of a laugh than an agent of terror.

Creature From The Black Lagoon

What Makes the Monster Special: “Gill-man” or “The Creature” is said to be the last remaining member of a humanoid amphibian race found in the Amazon. Scientists want to study the biological marvel, and while the monster rejects most interactions, it is attracted to one of the crew’s female members. Too bad Gill-man doesn’t know much about first dates, going the abduction route to win the woman’s heart.

The Director: Nacho Vigalondo

Why This Director is a Perfect Fit: It’s funny how Guillermo del Toro keeps popping up on this list while Nacho Vigalondo doesn’t, because I place their visions in similar scopes. Plus, GDT already worked his amphibian kink out in The Shape Of Water. Vigalondo can sink to the murkiest depths of darkness but still retain that personality of character you might not expect a Gill-man to possess. That’d be his greatest weapon. Can we relate to an aquatic creature covered in scales? Just like GDT accomplished, I think Vigalondo could convince us so.

Moreover, Vigolando’s a big proponent of turning complicated characters into sympathetic marks. What better vessel for such storytelling is there than “The Creature;” this underwater last-of-its-kind Amazonian legend that’s half man, half sea beast? Colossal may be about humans (and their inhuman avatars), but it proves Vigalondo is conscious of the many layers that exist inside conscious entities. Extraterrestrial, likewise, honors his love of sci-fi complications. There’s a scary, sorrowful, possibly romantic version of Creature From The Black Lagoon with Vigolando’s name on it that we haven’t been gifted yet – and I want it now.

Jonathan Barkan – Justin Benson & Aaron Moorhead: Benson & Moorhead’s films have never shied away from having a “creature,” whether it be lurking in the background (Resolution), hidden in plain sight (Spring), or the architect of the main characters’ peril (The Endless). A combination of these mentalities is precisely what would make their hypothetical adaptation so thrilling.

Anya Stanley – Ryan Coogler: At its core, the story is one of romance and Othering. This is the one film where I’d walk away from the horror director pool and beg Ryan Coogler to jump in.

Ariel Fisher – Tracy Oliver: Oliver (co-writer of Girls Trip) has spoken publicly about being told by film execs that Black women don’t watch horror movies. She’s struggled to sell her horror scripts as a result of this awful (and confounding) stereotype. Creature From The Black Lagoon, with a thinly-written, Fay Wray-esque damsel in distress, whose beauty entices the titular character, could use a female gaze to bring it into the 21st century. With her strong voice and penchant for writing powerful, multifaceted women, Oliver deserves such redemption.

Matt Barone – Alex Garland: I feel like Alex Garland would approach “The Creature” from a deeper place than just, ‘It’s a sea monster falling in love with a human woman;” he’d open up the Creature’s underwater world to become something potentially Lovecraftian. While I don’t need an army of creatures alongside the one and only Gill-man, it could be fun to expand the mythology a bit.

Chris Evangelista – Guillermo del Toro: This is probably cheating since del Toro already made The Shape of Water and won an Oscar for it. Honestly? Del Toro would be a great choice to direct all of the movies on this list. Still, his affinity for grotesque monsters makes him perfectly suited to bring the Gill-man back to life.

Marisa MirabalFede Alvarez: I really hope practical effects are used in this remake, and the director would need to be able to work with the elements and within a confined space as a result. For those reasons, Id choose Fede Alvarez as his work on Evil Dead and Dont Breathe hit similar marks.

Haleigh Foutch – Nicolas Pesce: Of all the possible remakes or retellings in our future, the one I’m most curious and nervous about is Creature From The Black Lagoon, one of the later inventions of the Universal Classic Monsters era and one of the most indelible creature creations of the 20th Century. We just got an Old Hollywood romantic spin on the Gill-man mythos with Guillermo Del Toro’s The Shape of Water, so I’d love to see a different take on the material that still honors the beauty and heartache that defined the original film. In that regard, I think Nicolas Pesce would be an interesting fit. The Eyes of My Mother and Piercing filmmaker has demonstrated an interest in dangerous, lonely characters, a knack for capturing the precise tone and energy of cinema past, and focused use of shadows and movement — a necessity for any filmmaker taking on the world of the Gill-man.

Kalyn Corrigan – Sarah Adina Smith: It will be difficult for any director to tackle Creature now, given that Guillermo del Toro has just delivered such a beautiful love story that is obviously inspired by the Universal Monster classic, but Smith could offer a different perspective. Her ability to manipulate mood through bodies of water in her first film The Midnight Swim is unmatched, the way she elicits fear and wonder and awe through the mere image of a woman standing in front of a lake is downright extraordinary. Everyone’s so focused on the monster in this movie, they fail to realize the importance of its surroundings. Smith is a director who can do both.

Continue Reading Universal Monster Directors >>

Cool Posts From Around the Web: