Sunday, September 20, 2020

The New Mutants - Movie Review

The Movie: The New Mutants

The Director: Josh Boone

The Cast: Maisie Williams, Anya Taylor-Joy, Charlie Heaton, Alice Braga, Blu Hunt, Henry Zaga

The Story: Five young mutants, just discovering their abilities while held in a secret facility against their will, fight to escape their past sins and save themselves.

The Review:
For three years, I was super excited about this movie. Director Josh Boone had been given the green light to make a horror trilogy using the New Mutants franchise thanks to his love of the property as well as classic horror stories including the works of Stephen King. The fact that Fox was okay with this blew my mind as it would be something truly different and a mixture of my favorite genres. Of course, Fox executives ended up telling Boone to make the movie more like a traditional super hero movie and brought in a writing team to make changes and add in some YA elements as well.

This was frustrating although I was still hopeful and that hope was fulfilled with the release of the first trailer. Fox had turned around yet again after they saw the success of It and told Boone to go back to his original full on horror idea. Here's the teaser trailer that got me super excited for this super hero horror movie. A legit horror movie in the X-Men universe.

More delays and a Disney takeover of Fox Studios meant more changes in what this movie should be. Disney execs didn't see this as a viable money making franchise and they were in the early stages of redeveloping all X-Men properties to eventually fit into the MCU. End result is a movie that was sliced and diced, chopped and changed and rearranged so many times that I was very much afraid of what the final product would be.

After finally watching the movie, I can see that any final alterations, ones instigated by Disney, had turned the movie away from the original horror design (some of the scariest stuff from the trailer is not in the movie), and the story was given a definitive ending instead of opening the door to a trilogy. All that being said, was it any good? I have to say I still enjoyed the end result and, even though it isn't what I originally wanted to see, there are still enough horror elements in place to make it a worthwhile effort. Of course the movie felt disjointed and like it didn't know what ti wanted to be, but that was expected after all the changes, re-shoots, re-edits, delays, and everything else that was thrown at it over the three years from pre-production to release.

The Verdict:
There will always be that feeling of what The New Mutants could have been but I'm not going to be mad at what I ended up seeing. A middle of the road super hero horror movie is still better than nothing at all and I am perfectly satisfied and happy that I finally got to see it.

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