Is Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness a Horror Movie? (& How Brutal Is It)


One of the things that we know about the MCU is that its films tend to be quite on the light side in terms of the gore and the brutality because Marvel Studios wants its films to be marketable and appealing to children as well. However, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness seems to be different compared to the other MCU films because of how dark its atmosphere is. But is Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness a horror movie, and how brutal is it?

Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness is not a horror movie, but it has horror elements because it is full of jumpscares, demonic entities, and brutal scenes. However, it isn’t too scary that those who aren’t fond of horror movies would not enjoy it. It is still fundamentally an MCU film with horror elements.

The MCU has always had films that are friendly towards children and aren’t quite scary or are nearly as brutal as other action films are. However, things changed with Multiverse of Madness because of how it simply fits the horror genre better than any other MCU movie. That said, let’s look at how scary and how brutal Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness is.

Is Doctor Strange In The Multiverse Of Madness A Horror Movie?

Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness is the newest MCU film to hit the cinemas as the film adds another layer to ever-expanding MCU lore. The focus of the movie shifts to Doctor Strange, who is now more knowledgeable about the multiverse after the events of Spider-Man: No Way Home, and Wanda Maximoff, who was last seen in WandaVision.

While the trailers suggest that Strange and Wanda would be working together to defeat a common enemy, the movie actually reveals Scarlet Witch as the antagonist quite early. Her goal was to acquire the superpowered girl named America Chavez, a girl from another universe that’s capable of opening portals between dimensions and universes.

Essentially, Wanda wants to drain America of her powers so that she can acquire the ability to move between universes as she wants to be with her children in another universe. Of course, she was also corrupted by the darkhold, which is the book of the damned that was introduced during the events of WandaVision.

In that regard, Wanda chased Strange and America all over the multiverse using a combination of witchcraft and demonic entities. In a manner of speaking, the movie uses a darker atmosphere that perfectly fits the Scarlet Witch’s darker powers and mastery over witchcraft. So, does that mean that Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness is a horror movie?


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No, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness is not a horror movie. It does have some scary scenes and a few elements that are often seen in different horror movies. However, even Kevin Feige himself said that it isn’t a horror movie.

“I wouldn’t necessarily say that’s a horror film, but it is, as Scott Derrickson, our director, has pitched it, it’ll be a big MCU film with scary sequences in it,” Feige said. “It’s fun to be scared in that way, and not a horrific, torturous way, but a way that is legitimately scary, because Scott Derrickson is quite good at that, but scary in the service of an exhilarating emotion.”

Scott Derrickson eventually left the project due to creative differences. Meanwhile, Sam Raimi, who is known for directing horror movies and for the first Spider-Man trilogy, was brought in as the new director. He maintained the potential of Multiverse of Madness as a horror-like movie that isn’t necessarily a horror movie.

“Doctor Strange in the comics has always dealt in universes and dimensions that were quite spooky,” Raimi said. “So, we tried to bring some of that into this film. It is spooky at some times and scary at others. It’s unknown what you’ll find in the multiverse. It’s within that unknown that suspense and darkness exist. A tool to titillate the audience’s fear.”

In that regard, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness is not a horror movie but is more like a standard MCU action movie that has a lot of different horror elements that make it horror-like. And you will understand why it has some horror elements if you actually see the film and how suspenseful it can get with the different scenes that resemble the same scenes you can watch in horror movies.

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While Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness may indeed have horror movie elements, even though it isn’t a horror movie, what fans should know is that it isn’t necessarily a scary movie. There are a lot of jumpscares, demonic entities, and horror movie scenes that only those who are fans of horror movies can appreciate. However, it isn’t necessarily scary.

The reason why Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness isn’t quite scary is the fact that everyone expects the film to follow the same kind of formula that has always been successful in the MCU. As such, on top of its horror-like scenes, it has a good combination of action, narration, drama, and comedy all rolled into one.

There might be scenes that will scare you, such as when Scarlet Witch came out of a golden gong in Kamar-Taj in a manner that’s similar to how Sadako came out of the TV screen in The Ring. There are also scenes where a bloody Wanda suddenly pops out of nowhere during some of the most suspenseful parts of the movie. On top of that, near the end, Doctor Strange possesses a decomposing body of himself from another universe while making use of the souls of the damned.

However, the movie itself isn’t necessarily scary. The horror factors are there but, taken as a whole, it shouldn’t be scary enough to make you want to cover your face in anticipation of a scary scene.

How Brutal Is Doctor Strange In The Multiverse Of Madness?

On top of the fact that Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness is also one of the more mature MCU movies in the sense that it carries some horror scenes without necessarily trying to be a horror movie, it is also a pretty brutal movie for a Marvel Studios production. In fact, it is safe to say that it is the most brutal MCU film to date. 

The brutality of Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness can be seen in the deaths of the different characters and how they die. Make no mistake about the fact that death has always been a part of the MCU, but the way the characters die was never quite brutal.


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However, in Multiverse of Madness, the portrayal of the deaths of the characters who died in the movie can be quite brutal. They are more graphic in the sense that some characters die in unconventional ways.

For example, during Scarlet Witch’s attack on Kamar-Taj, the way that she killed the other masters of the mystic arts was quite brutal because she used her powers to burn them alive as you see their corpses turning into ash. Meanwhile, when she attacked the Illuminati base in the other universe, Wanda also displayed a level of brutality unseen in the past when she erased Black Bolt’s mouth and allowed his own powers to blow his head up. She also shredded Mr. Fantastic to pieces. And while the exact scene wasn’t shown, she also used Captain Carter’s own shield to split her body in half down at the midsection.

These are all death scenes that we have never seen in any MCU film in the past. And that means that Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness is by far the most brutal MCU production in the history of Marvel Studios.

Is Doctor Strange 2 Gory?

As brutal as Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness may be, it isn’t necessarily too gory to the point that it would resemble slasher films. It is somewhat bloody in the sense that you do see Scarlet Witch’s face covered with a bit of blood. The scenes wherein Black Bolt’s head blew up and the one wherein Carter was split in half are quite brutal, but the blood and gore in those scenes were minimized.

So, with that said, audience members who aren’t necessarily fans of gory movies shouldn’t be too turned off by the brutality that’s quite prevalent in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. Sure, it is the most brutal production in Marvel Studio’s history, but the brutality doesn’t make it quite as gory as slasher films or other movies and shows that have plenty of blood and gore.

Is Doctor Strange In The Multiverse Of Madness Adequate For Kids?

Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness is rated PG-13, and that means that children aged 13 years or older should have parental guidance. Meanwhile, it isn’t adequate for children under the age of 13.

In that regard, it is the same as some of the other MCU films that are also PG-13. Sure, the movie is quite dark, has a bit of horror in it, and is the most brutal MCU film thus far. However, the scary scenes and the added brutality don’t warrant a higher rating for Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. As such, children 13 years old or older should be able to watch it but should be under the supervision of their parents.

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