The Munsters Reboot Is Destined To Fail

By Zack Zagranis | Updated

the munsters reboot

It was recently announced that Universal is taking another stab at modernizing The Munsters with a new reboot, 1313. James Wan is attached to produce the reboot and apparently wants to lean into the horror aspect of the characters. Frankly, we can’t think of a quicker way to ensure that the new project bombs.

The Munsters Should Not Be Scary

The problem with trying to make the Munsters scary is that it misses the whole point of the original show. The Munsters may look like monsters on the outside, but on the inside, they are the corniest of sitcom families. Unlike The Addams Family—a twisted family of sickos that revel in the macabre—the Munsters are almost literally Leave it to Beaver if it just happened to star Frankenstein.

The Failed Series

The Munsters was rebooted before with a darker, slightly more sinister tone. Mockingbird Lane, a television special that, like 1313, also took its name from the family’s address, aired in the fall of 2012 to little fanfare. Lane was intended to be a pilot for a new Munsters series but NBC passed and aired it as a Halloween Special instead.

Universal Monsters Aren’t Scary Anymore

What Mockingbird Lane and 1313 fail to realize is that a reboot of The Munsters should emphasize laughs over scares. This is especially true if the show is going to use the tired old Universal Monster templates that haven’t scared anyone since the 1940s. No matter how you try to spin it, Frankenstein, Dracula, and the Wolfman just aren’t very frightening.

A better idea would be to modernize the characters with some of Universal’s other horror properties. The studio owns so many scary IPs beyond the classic monsters that it wouldn’t take much to update The Munsters with a new reboot.

Update The Roster Of Monsters

Universal owns Chucky and Dawn of the Dead, so why not make Grandpa a living doll and Herman a zombie? They also own Halloween and The Exorcist, making it possible to reimagine Lily Munster as a grown-up Reagan or a similarly possessed woman whose childhood demon never left and young Eddie as a silent masked Michael Myers type. That’s again if Universal is dead set on making The Munsters scary.

Rob Zombie’s Munsters

the munsters

We still think comedy is the way to go, although even that approach has its problems. Rob Zombie, of all people, focused on comedy over horror when he made his The Munsters reboot in 2022. Unfortunately, none of the jokes landed, and the movie as a whole was pretty much a mess.

Ironically, Zombie, who is known for his grisly horror movies, knew what made the original Munsters great; he just lacked the skill to put that knowledge to good use.

Embrace The Corny Roots Of The Munsters

the munsters

Another potential way to do a successful Munsters reboot would be to model it after the two ’90s Brady Bunch films. Have the Munsters still acting like a cringy TV family from the ’60s while everyone else around them is full of good ol’ 2024 cynicism. Make the jokes about how old-fashioned the family is and not “Ahhhhh it’s monsters!”

Otherwise, The Munsters, as a “dark reimagining,” is doomed to fail like so many other reboots before it. When you lose sight of what makes the characters popular in the first place, you get something like Mockingbird Lane that no one wants.