The Horror of Tom Cruise

Tom Cruise is a committed actor who always brings his A-game and that goes for the handful of horror movies he’s starred-in

While many critics are currently slamming Universal’s first entry in their proposed Dark Universe series of interconnected monster movies, director Alex Kurtzman’s The Mummy, some of those scribes are citing this as the worst Tom Cruise movie ever. Others are using Cruise’s presence in what is ostensibly a horror movie as a negative, like dramatic or serious performing is beneath the veteran actor. This is a common problem Cruise has had with film snobs and select critics since he was in his career infancy. Praised for parading around in his underpants in 1982’s erotic teen comedy Risky Business, Cruise would get slammed time and time again for rolling the dice and progressing his pretty boy persona, parlaying his box office success by inserting himself into many “serious” films and working with an onslaught of A-list auteur directors.

It’s a shame that Cruise’s detractors seemingly willfully forget his blistering turn in Oliver Stone’s Born on the 4th of July. It’s criminal that Dustin Hoffman got the love for Barry Levinson’s Rain Main and Cruise’s performance — the heart of the film — was ignored. It’s terminally lame that people forget that Cruise never coasts on his mainstream fame and always aims to hone his craft, taking detours into indie fare (Magnolia) and broad comedy (Tropic Thunder). He’s one of the great action heroes (the Mission Impossible and Jack Reacher movies) and he’s a sure hand at sci-fi (Edge of Tomorrow is a certifiable masterpiece and Cruise carries it all). Maybe people can’t overlook the whole Scientology thing, I don’t know…

So here comes The Mummy and, whether you love it or don’t (our first review was indifferent but expect more reactions from our other writers this weekend), it’s misguided to pick on Cruise as the film’s flaw. Cruise is a marvel really, a performer who has owned Hollywood for decades and yet is fully committed to experimenting and defying expectations. And when it comes to horror, he’s no stranger. In fact, the handful of horror and dark fantasy films he’s appeared in are that much better for his presence.

Join us for a moment and cycle through these five fantastic fright films that feature Cruise as both monster and monster hunter and in fine form.


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