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Wednesday, December 2, 2020

Now showing: The New Mutants (M)

Luke McWilliams gives his review of the latest instalment of the X-Men franchise, The New Mutants, starring Maisie Williams and Charlie Heaton.

Dani Moonstar (Blu Hunt), a young Cheyenne Native American, escapes a tornado that devastates her reservation. After being knocked unconscious, Dani awakens in a hospital run by Dr Cecilia Reyes (Alice Braga) who reveals to Dani that she is a mutant, and that she must stay in the hospital to monitor her burgeoning abilities.

After the movie was delayed four times to avoid competing with Deadpool 2 and Dark Phoenix, Disney’s acquisition of 20th Century Fox, and the COVID-19 pandemic, The New Mutants has been released to middling reviews. Following the box office disappointments of X-Men: Age of Apocalypse and Dark Phoenix, the movie marks the last for the Fox X-Men franchise before being relaunched within Disney’s Marvel Cinematic Universe.While fans of the comic books may be disappointed with the depiction of the characters, fans of (pop) psychological horror may be in for a treat.

Locked in a gothic hospital, five dangerous young mutants must figure out who is behind their ‘treatments’ and what is bringing their worst fears to life. Using authentic, diverse casting in terms of cultures and genders, the characters become more rounded the further they develop by literally facing their personal demons. The movie is at its strongest once it leans further into its horror trappings and our characters finally let their crazy fly, à la A Nightmare on Elm Street: Dream Warriors.

Verdict: While further outings may be unlikely, there is plenty for YA genre fans to enjoy. 3 stars.

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