FILM REVIEW | The New Mutants

While the Marvel Cinematic Universe continues to go from strength to strength, the X-Men universe continues to trend downwards.

Yes, Logan and the Deadpool movies were great, but the last two X-Men films (Apocalypse and Dark Phoenix) left a lot to be desired. The latest addition to that universe, sadly, does not buck the trend.

The New Mutants was touted as an X-Men horror.

Audiences have rarely been treated to superhero horror, and last year's Brightburn was a fantastic indication of the emerging sub-genre's potential. However, none of that potential is evident in The New Mutants.

The film, which was originally slated for release all the way back in 2018, struggles to build any sort of momentum and features little, if any, genuine tension - a must-have for a horror movie.

Disappointing: Charlie Heaton, Anya Taylor-Joy, Blu Hunt, Henry Zaga and Maisie Williams star in the underwhelming 'X-Men horror' The New Mutants, rated M, in cinemas now.

Disappointing: Charlie Heaton, Anya Taylor-Joy, Blu Hunt, Henry Zaga and Maisie Williams star in the underwhelming 'X-Men horror' The New Mutants, rated M, in cinemas now.

The story sees teen mutant Amber Moonstar (Blu Hunt) awaken handcuffed to a hospital bed in an unknown facility. The last thing she remembers was running, terrified, from something that was destroying the Native American reservation where she lived.

She learns that she's in a hospital for teen mutants, watched over by Dr Reyes (Alice Braga, TV's Queen of the South). Once they have powers under control, they'll be allowed to leave - or so they're told. Also at the hospital are Rahne (Arya Stark herself, Maisie Williams), Sam (Stranger Things' Charlie Heaton), Illyana (Split's Anya Taylor-Joy) and Roberto (Henry Zaga).

It's clear that the filmmakers - writer-director Josh Boone and co-writer Knate Kee - have attempted to also achieve something of a Breakfast Club vibe, but none of the characters are interesting or engaging enough for audiences to really care about.

While some of the ideas that are played around with are actually pretty cool, they're execution leaves a lot to be desired. Even the look of some of the nightmarish beasties seems to come straight from Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children.

Further compounding the disappointment of The New Mutants is its climactic, CGI-laden showdown.

One positive is the costuming - each character's costume choices more effectively speak to their personality than any of the writing.

Rating: 5/10