The Reel Review

D

This long-delayed Marvel flick is about a group of young mutants being held against their will in a rundown medical facility, presumably so they can be trained to harness their burgeoning superpowers. When a newly-orphaned teenage girl (Blu Hunt) joins them, they are terrorized by a disturbing series of events.

Maisie Williams, Henry Zaga, Blu Hunt, Charlie Heaton and Anya Taylor-Joy are The New Mutants.

Let’s be blunt – this horror/thriller is awful. With a threadbare story that feels like some weird fantasy mashup of The Breakfast Club and Nightmare on Elm Street, director Josh Boone (The Fault in Our Stars) gives us all the laughably bad dialogue, confusing plot holes, embarrassingly fake looking CGI, and strange casting that you would expect in a low budget film – only this film had a $63 million budget. Alice Braga (Queen of the South, Elysium) seems completely lost as the doctor, Charlie Heaton’s West Virginia accent is nails-on-a-chalkboard bad, and Henry Zaga (13 Reasons Why) has little more to do than serve as a frequently shirtless mannequin.

Poor Anya Taylor-Joy (The Queen’s Gambit) and Maisie Williams (Game of Thrones). While each deliver solid performances as two of the mutants, they are also proof that high caliber talent can only do so much with an insipid script that feels like an unfunny, unintentional satire of a comic book movie. Marvel movie gods, do better.

REEL FACTS

The New Mutants was originally scheduled for release in April 2018, but was pushed back five times, first to make way for reshoots (that never happened) to make it scarier, then to avoid being clobbered at the box office by bonanzas like Deadpool 2, then to get some more awful CGI effects, and then finally due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Medfield State Hospital in Massachusetts also served as the setting for the 2010 psychological thriller, Shutter Island.

• The majority of The New Mutants was shot on location in 2017 at the long closed, Medfield State Hospital, which was the first mental asylum in Massachusetts.

The New Mutants was originally intended to be the first in a new Marvel superhero/horror trilogy.

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