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  • Writer's pictureS.J.

'The New Mutants' Review: 'X-Men' Spinoff Keeps Its Young Superheroes In A Horror Hospital

The superhero team in front of a manor
20th Century Studios

Coming out of their rage and they’re doing just fine, The New Mutants (directed and co-written by Josh Boone) finally arrived in my horizon after years of pondering whether it was in fact a real movie and why Disney decided to put its only local press screening on the morning of its release, merely couple hours before the first public screening. That’s also the reason why it took a while to get to it and after seeing it, it makes you think why you would do that for something that isn’t the catastrophe it was expected to be. Five teen(?) X-Men mutants – Dani (Blu Hunt), Rahne (Maisie Williams), Illyana (Anya Taylor-Joy), Sam (Charlie Heaton) and Roberto (Henry Zega) – are put into a rehab-ish facility under care of Dr. Reyes (Alice Braga) to make sense of their powers while all of them eventually take form of supernatural horror madness. Perfectly average in most filmmaking aspects, it finds solace in some spooks while being flattened by sleazy accents and boring ending.

”Mutants” brings up several interesting ideas with its premise as well as exploration but unfortunately many of them don’t blossom into much. All of the five seem to be new to the facility and we do get some backstory about them, however we never spend any time learning about their powers or mental battles about essentially being locked in this remote mansion. Instead we only know that Illyana is a racist, Sam has a dad, Roberto had a girlfriend and so forth, they blabber on about nothing for too long which is not helped by the shaky accent work of Taylor-Joy and Heaton, distracting you furthermore. Diving deeper into this place where you are stuck with young super-powered people, who can’t control themselves and where they are being tested and medicated in, could’ve been more horror inducing than whatever we got now.

Something that seems to be going over people’s heads when reading thoughts about the film is that it is in fact PG-13 horror with Marvel characters. You can only get so wild with that rating so the actual VFX work and scary things are pretty impressive, notably the Smiling Men and Roberto’s powers look great. The ”with Marvel” phrase is important because this is in no way a superhero team-up type of thing, it’s bunch of not mature kids colliding which works because the actors play off each other nicely. Score, production design, cinematography and sound are all solid in their own right too. One last chance where the film could’ve taken more risks is its ending but all of the tension evaporates into thin air when the final VFX monster arrives. That whole sequence is painfully predictable, gets resolved way too easily and leaves Dani and Rahne out in the cold considering their arcs were the biggest thing in the movie.

Smileys: VFX

Frowneys: Ending, dialogue

Existential, psychological horror film called ”The New Ant-Mans”. Let’s talk Disney, let’s talk.


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