When Marvel brought on director Sam Raimi, famed for his distinct style of horror filmmaking with Drag Me To Hell and the Evil Dead franchise, it was no surprise that Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness would be the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s first proper foray into horror territory. With jump scares and classically terrifying imagery, it managed to bring a distinct flavor of terror within its PG-13 bounds. And while Marvel certainly paid fan service to its own longtime franchise fans, horror lovers were also rewarded with appreciative Easter eggs and homages to some scary movie greats.
Doctor Strange 2 Delivers Day Of The Dead Style Zombies
Zombie motifs are in no short supply, so it’s almost no surprise that the zombie master himself, George A. Romero, is paid his due in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. In the film, the foreshadowed rising of the dead is fulfilled as Strange Dream Walks into his multiversal corpse to control it. Not only are audiences treated to a classic shot of a zombie hand breaking through its burial plot, but the visual homages go a touch deeper. Souls of the damned swarm Strange, trying to prevent him from possessing a dead body. And before he manages to master them and control their actions, a multitude of dark, undead hands grab at him, evoking the iconic visual from 1985’s Day of the Deadwhere zombie hands claw at and surround the hero.
Doctor Strange 2 Screams “Here’s Wanda!” With a Shining Homage
It’s hard to imagine a classic horror movie more visually recognizable than Stanley Kubrick’s adaptation of The Shining, from the Overlook’s bold carpet to the creepy Grady twins. But Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness pays a somewhat subtler nod to the iconic villain, Jack Torrance. While running from the Scarlet Witch underneath the Illuminati’s compound on Earth-838, Strange, America Chavez and 838’s Christine Palmer find themselves in a maze of tunnels. As Wanda hurries after them, she has a distinct limp in her step de ella reminiscent of Jack Torrance’s own limp-filled run de ella chasing after Wendy and Danny in The Shining. She further embodies Torrance for a moment with a dedicated focus in her eyes, looking up with her head tilted just a touch downward, and a hint of a small smile on her lips from her: the infamous Kubrick Stare.
Doctor Strange 2’s Scarlet Witch Nods To Carrie
Jack Torrance is not the only Stephen King character that Scarlet Witch’s possessed Wanda-838 pays homage to. When she first enters the Illuminati stronghold, there are two distinct things about her presence. First and most noticeable, she is used in blood. Second, as she slowly walks forward, she holds her arms down at her sides de ella with her fingers outstretched, very much the same way the titular Carrie does when causing telekinetic chaos at the prom.
Wanda Crawls Forth With A Hint Of The Ring
The Scarlet Witch’s full witchy powers were never more on display than during her attack on Kamar-Taj. She possesses the minds of her defenders, killing and burning as she goes. After gaining entry, Strange briefly traps her in a mirrored pocket dimension. But Wanda soon realizes that when she touches the mirrored surface, she can make it become like water and use the reflections in the room where Strange and America are hiding to transport herself to them. Although they frankly rush to cover every puddle, Wanda quickly emerges through the gong’s reflective surface. When she crawls out of the gong bent, contorted and on all fours, it is a terrifying parallel to the ever-unsettling Samara from The Ring as she crawls out of the television.
Doctor Strange 2’s Most Brutal Kill Nods To The Twilight Zone
When Rod Serling’s The Twilight Zone received its 1983 theatrical treatment with Twilight Zone – The Movie, a classic episode was given a horrifying and decidedly ’80s fever dream-style update. “It’s a Good Life” is the story of a young boy, Anthony, who has the power to alter reality with his mind and does so to devastating effects. One of the more unsettling visuals in the movie segment is the body horror reveal that Anthony has wished away his own sister’s mouth from him. When threatened to be destroyed by a whisper from Black Bolt’s mouth in Doctor Strang in the Multiverse of Madness, Wanda wryly asks, “What mouth?” The camera pans to reveal the lower half of Black Bolt’s face, now a solid mass with no mouth, and the twilight zone homage sticks the lading.
It’s Not Sam Raimi Without Some Evil Dead in Doctor Strange 2
Though Sam Raimi is careful not to let his Easter eggs be self-referential, a lighthearted cameo ties back to Raimi’s Evil Dead trilogy. Bruce Campbell, who plays a pizza balls vendor in Earth-838, is also the star of the Evil Dead franchise, playing Ash Williams. In Dr. Strange in the Multiverse of MadnessStrange curses the rude vendor to hit himself with his own hand repeatedly, which is a direct reference to a plot point in Evil Dead II. At one point, Ash becomes possessed by a demonic force who takes control of Ash’s own hand, attempting to kill him with it. Strange’s curse is, of course, a lighter iteration but an appreciated wink.
See every multiversal jumpscare in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, now in theaters.
Doctor Strange 2 Guide: News, Easter Eggs, Reviews, Theories and Rumors
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