Vampires on the big screen come and go, the trend never fully dying out. After the glut of post-Twilight paranormal fiction tired out the general public in the late 2000s to early 2010s, Hollywood seemed to embrace zombies over their undead brethren for a while. Now, it feels like they’re coming back in style. Vampire YA is in the headlines thanks to books like Renée Ahdieh’s The Beautiful series, Caleb Roehrig’s The Fell of Dark, and, of course, Stephenie Meyer’s return with Midnight Sun. Netflix has the French horror series Vampires, and the BBC adapted Dracula once more, albeit not very well. Indeed, there are more Draculas on the horizon, with female filmmakers like Karyn Kusama and Chloe Zhao at the helm, as well as planned films about the Demeter crossing from the novel and a spin-off focused on Renfield. But this isn’t the first time this century that Hollywood has tried to revive the fortunes of its classic horror creatures. The studio that made its name from iconic monsters hoped to bring them back for a new era of blockbuster filmmaking. The result, however, was one of the decade’s biggest cinematic missteps. This is the story of the rise and fall, but mostly fall, of the Dark Universe.