But the film’s over-reliance on digital effects isn’t terribly surprising in a modern superhero movie. Neither is Smith’s sympathetic-to-a-point villain. Nor, for that matter, is Leto’s bland hero, whose most distinctive aspect is the demanding physical transformation the actor underwent for the role. No, the only really surprising—and, therefore, the most disappointing—thing about “Morbius” is the fact that it’s an honest-to-goodness horror film. But only for a few seconds.
Midway through the film, a nurse walks alone down the creepy, abandoned hallway of a hospital late at night, triggering a series of motion-activated sensors as she goes. Suddenly, a light flashes further down the hall, drawing the eye to the point where it disappears into the horizon. A shape! The nurse spots the intruder and runs, bulbs flashing as she goes. She stops to catch her breath, and a monstrous hand pops up from the bottom of the screen. She screams. The camera pulls back, lingering as each isolated puddle of illumination blinks out until only the woman’s prone body—and the shadowy form hunched over her—can be seen. Finally, that light goes out as well, bathing the screen in darkness.
Enjoy the gasp as it escapes from your throat, dear viewer. Because you’re not going to get another one, at least not from this movie. Better luck next time with the actual undead, we suppose.
“Morbius” is available only in theaters on April 1.