The basic group, as all good horror fans should know, are Frankenstein, The Bride of Frankenstein, Dracula, Wolfman, Mummy, Phantom of the Opera, Creature from the Black Lagoon, and, okay for good measure, The Invisible Man. There are also plenty of second and third tier beasts to play with. This is quite a large group and yet Universal seems more eager to let the monsters die than to promote and reengage the latest generation of viewer with new experiences and kick start these franchises.
A giant Jacob's Ladder and some flashing test tubes was cool technology in the 30's. Go ahead and update. that would be lovely. Actually go ahead and do something with a little heart and a little vision. But we either get garbage or nothing. The grip of the studio is so tight that monster lovers need to create their own versions. Guillermo Del Toro was refused access to remake the Creature form the Black Lagoon story, supposedly, (that is part of the tale of creation of The Shape of Water Hollywood mythology which we'll leave for another day) so he went on to win an Oscar with his version of an Amazon fish man.
Why can't Universal find their way to creativity and or even decent marketing efforts with their stable of (what I consider) genius monsters? Who and what is REALLY holding them back? Many of the legacy monsters were based on books. Dark Delicacies is filled with books and, more often than not, writers who would give their canine teeth to see their fears come to life. Take it all a step further and ask where is Poe and Lovecraft and all the great unnerving horror that lies dormant in its grave? Is it the fussing and feuding among the original stars families, do modern filmmakers feel there is no relating to 100 year old tales, or idiocy and lack of motivation in the front office? Over the years tales, reasons and excuses have abounded. But no one size fits all excuse seems to have satisfied as a true explanation.
If something needs to give these beasts a punch to get going I have one idea. How about we turn all these horrors over to the women? This is their time to shine. why not shine in the area we all love and cherish so much? The men seem to have failed dramatically for the last two decades ending with that horrible Tom Cruise debacle of the Mummy (2017). The talented women of Hollywood could breathe new life into these franchises and resuscitate the corpses of our dark dreams. I would love to see a female producer, director and writer tackle these myths. I can hear the screaming now.