From a largely forgotten flop to an alien invasion horror to a campy vampire classic, how do Top Gun 2 star Tom Cruise’s horror films measure up?
Although Top Gun: Maverick star Tom Cruise is a big fan of horror, the actor’s own entries into the genre haven’t all been major hits. A quick look at Tom Cruise’s many unmade horror films proves that the successful star has a deep affinity for the genre, even though some of his most promising projects ended up being canceled for various reasons.
Despite his enduring appreciation of the genre, however, Cruise hasn’t starred in many horror films over the years. Since the actor became a major movie star in his youth, Cruise never needed to rack up credits by starring in potentially embarrassing early horror movies before big-name fame called him. . This means that Cruise’s few horror efforts were carefully selected – whether or not this improved the end result is largely up for debate.
Cruise’s three horror films to date include a low-budget action-horror blockbuster based on an existing series, a tragic vampire film, and an alien invasion thriller. Like Alexander Skarsgård, his horror films offer a diverse cross section of the genre. Unfortunately for Cruise, the critical reception of his horror films has been as mixed as Skarsgård’s inconsistent output in the genre. Only one of Cruise’s horror films was a hit with critics while another was a critical disaster, and the third split fans and critics alike.
2017 The Mummy was intended to set up an entire Universal Dark Universe, but the flop proved a rare misfire for Tom Cruise. Dark, gray and ultimately scary, 2017 The Mummy wasted an impressive cast including Cruise, Russell Crowe and Jake Johnson on a story that took itself way too seriously, especially compared to the Brendan Frasier-directed original. The largely humorless tone made the rare levity moments out of place while Cruise’s action heroism rendered the horror ineffectual, resulting in a disastrously misjudged end product. While 1999’s The Mummy offered a perfect blueprint for the success of an action-horror blockbuster, 2017’s The Mummy did its best to kill Universal’s doomed dark universe before the franchise could begin.
War of the Worlds
The horror of Spielberg’s alien invasion after 9/11 War of the Worlds is memorable in intensity and features great performances, including Cruise’s central turn as the perpetually freaked-out antihero. However, War of the Worlds is never truly scary despite some exciting settings and a darker tone than many wackier blockbusters pitting otherworldly aliens against the military. Tim Robbins steals the show as the creepy survivalist and supernaturally talented Dakota Fanning is superb as Cruise’s terrified child, but overall, War of the Worlds is merely passable where the horror of the alien invasion might have been unforgettable.
Interview with a Vampire
Anne Rice’s Campy Adaptation Interview with a Vampire remains one of the great tragic vampire romances alongside Bram Stoker’s Dracula. Cruise co-star and horror fan Brad Pitt impresses as the heartbroken Louis, the brooding counterpart to Cruise’s sneering undead villain Lestat. However, it was a phenomenal turn from then-ten-year-old Kristen Dunst, raising Interview with a Vampire to classic status. Perfectly capturing the balance of horror, camp and genuine pathos that makes Rice’s melodrama so effective, director Neil Jordan Interview with a Vampire remains both an underrated addition to the canon of vampire cinema and the best horror film in Top Gun: Maverick star Tom Cruise (so far).
More: Every Anya Taylor-Joy Horror Movie Ranked Worst To Best
Ming-Na Wen Celebrates Mulan’s 24th Birthday With Throwback Photo From Disney
About the Author