Why Universal Studios’ Bride Of Frankenstein Maze Should Inspire A Spinoff For The Horror Icon

Frankenstein and Bride of Frankenstein at Universal Horror Nights Hollywood
(Image credit: (Universal Studios))

She’s alive! Universal Studios has long become scare central over the Halloween season with its annual Horror Nights event. After a year off, the seasonal theme park attraction is back and with a spirited vengeance. One of the major mazes haunting both Orlando and Hollywood this year is the “Universal Monsters: The Bride Of Frankenstein Lives,” which stars the mate of Frankenstein’s monster in a wholly original vision that reminds me how imminently we need a Bride of Frankenstein film. After going through the maze during Hollywood Horror Nights, I believe a great spinoff idea is right in front of the studio’s face.

Just like the maze, it would be called The Bride of Frankenstein Lives! and continue the legacy of the horror icon who is a fan-favorite, but has been lost in the shuffle and underutilized. Before I talk in depth about the maze itself, and why and how it should inspire a movie, we should first creep down memory lane regarding the roots of the classic character. Let’s crank up the electricity and get started:

Bride of Frankenstein 1935 movie Elsa Lanchester and Boris Karloff

(Image credit: (Universal))

The Brief And Uneventful History Of Bride Of Frankenstein On Screen

The Bride of Frankenstein is a character who first appeared in Mary Shelley’s famed 1818 novel Frankenstein. In the well-beloved book, the scientist behind the monster is tempted by a request his cursed creation asks for: a mate. Much of the book deals with the loneliness the monster feels since being made, and he decides to ask his creator to create a mate for him to vanish into the wilderness of South America with. Victor Frankenstein reluctantly agrees, but then realizes that this action could lead to the monster and his bride spawning an entire race of monsters. Victor destroys the monster’s bride as he watches, and in turn, the monster murders Victor’s wife Elizabeth on their wedding night.

During Universal’s early monster days, the studio made a film in 1935 called The Bride of Frankenstein, which served as the first sequel to Boris Karloff’s Frankenstein. Elsa Lanchester portrayed the monster aside Karloff in a movie that follows through on a ‘what if’ the novel had gone a different way. Lanchester’s portrayal of the character is memorable, but only about 10 minutes long. Over the years, Hollywood has tried to resurrect Bride of Frankenstein with 1967’s Frankenstein Created Woman and 1985’s The Bride with Jennifer Beals and Sting, but overall, the character has remained shockingly underutilized.

Elsa Lanchester and Colin Clive in Bride of Frankenstein

(Image credit: (Universal))

What We Know About The Next Bride Of Frankenstein Movie

Conversations around The Bride of Frankenstein have become more of a hot topic in recent years, with Universal planning more movies based on their famed monsters. Since the studio reimagined The Invisible Man in early 2020, there’s been a string of movies announced based on classic characters including The Wolfman with Ryan Gosling, Chloe Zhao’s Dracula and a Bride of Frankenstein movie. At one point, Bill Condon was set to direct the latter movie from a script written by David Koepp and starring Angelina Jolie, but some of those plans have fallen through.

When last we heard, David Koepp is still planning to use his Bride of Frankenstein script, but the rest of the details regarding the project remain thin. The writer, who also penned Jurassic Park and 2002’s Spider-Man, has teased some details about the contents of the story, like how it will explore some of the pitfalls of Silicon Valley culture, along with exploring a story “relevant today in the era of #MeToo.” However, the most recent update we received came last summer, so we’re not entirely sure it’s happening. Additionally, Scarlett Johansson signed on for an A24 movie called Bride, which is reportedly about a woman created to be the ideal wife by an entrepreneur, but then rebels from her objective.

Bride of Frankenstein Lives maze, universal studios hollywood horror nights 2021

(Image credit: (Universal))

What Is The Bride of Frankenstein Lives Maze?

Now that you’re up to speed on the context about the Bride of Frankenstein, let’s get to the “Universal Monsters: The Bride Of Frankenstein Lives” maze. The maze made its debut this year during the 2021 lineup in both Orlando and Hollywood, and ranked high in both CinemaBlend rankings of the best mazes at the event. The maze is unlike most Horror Nights mazes because it’s not based on anything fans have seen from the character before. Using some old horror aesthetics and steam punk influences, visitors of the maze find that the Bride of Frankenstein is a force to be reckoned with, and a very scary monster in her own right.

As visitors walk through the maze, metal music plays in the background, and the Bride attempts to remove the monster from some rubble. As the synopsis reveals, the character is back to take her fate into her “own bloody hands.” The Bride becomes an experimenter and creator in her own right, killing off people in the night and placing people in cages to create her own terrifying monsters. It’s an incredibly dark take on the tale, but one that had me wanting to relive the scares again to return to the exciting concept.

Bride of Frankenstein Lives maze in Universal Studios Hollywood maze

(Image credit: (Universal Studios))

Why Bride Of Frankenstein Lives Should Inspire A Movie

What a clever reimagining of Frankenstein this would be. Plus, it could finally forward the story of Bride of Frankenstein in a way horror fans have never seen before. From what I gathered from the maze's take on the story, the Bride was created to be the mate of the monster, but perhaps rejected his ideas to vanish into the woods and be a couple forever. She seems to kill the monster, but much like him, she still longs to not be the only monster in the world. Therefore, she starts to push back against humanity and actually kill people in order to harvest their body parts and create horrifying monsters of her own, and perhaps resurrect the monster in the process into her own perfect mate. It would turn the tables beautifully! … And horrifyingly.

This spinoff should take place in the Gothic times that Mary Shelley originally crafted Frankenstein in, and following many decades of more and more Frankenstein movies, it could finally make the property fresh again. You can see the “Universal Monsters: The Bride Of Frankenstein Lives” maze at Universal Studios Hollywood and Orlando at Halloween Horror Nights, which runs until October 31.

Sarah El-Mahmoud
Staff Writer

YA genre tribute. Horror May Queen. Word webslinger. All her writing should be read in Sarah Connor’s Terminator 2 voice over.