Is ‘Doctor Strange 2’ really a horror film?

Doctor Strange 2 Benedict Cumberbatch
Image via Marvel Entertainment/YouTube

The long-awaited sequel to 2016’s Doctor Strange is headed to theaters soon.

Fans of the Marvel Cinematic Universe have had their gazes unblinkingly affixed on the film’s release since mid-December, when the Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness trailer capped off the final moments of Spider-Man: No Way Home. Details around the film were hazy during the worst months of the COVID-19 pandemic as film release dates were shuffled to best accommodate audiences and mandates around the globe.

Now that we’ve finally got a release date for Multiverse of Madness and fans have been granted to a slew of tantalizing trailers, new questions have arisen around the film. Trailers, along with quotes from the film’s director, hint that the movie may venture into horror territory. The notion seems a bit odd, given the MCU’s typical fare, but it’s not unlike the Marvel franchise to occasionally depart from the expected formula. If rumors are to be believed, then Multiverse of Madness could be the MCU’s first-ever horror offering.

Is Doctor Strange 2 a horror movie?

Doctor Strange 2 - Wanda
Image via Marvel Entertainment/YouTube

The exact level of horror in Multiverse of Madness has yet to be determined, but fans shouldn’t be deterred by promises of “a flavor of horror” from Raimi. The film will be the first MCU entry with an “element of horror to it,” as noted by Raimi, but it won’t venture far enough into horror territory to turn any stomachs.

The movie’s latest trailer offered a few enticing glimpses of the darker moments Raimi may have been referring to, giving viewers a peek of a bare few twisted and dark paths the upcoming film may take. The film does promise a new approach, marrying typical Marvel fare with a more sinister storyline, but likely won’t align much with true horror expectations.

Audiences can find out for themselves when Multiverse of Madness arrives in theaters on May 6, 2022.