‘New Mutants’ Is a ‘Haunted-House Movie With a Bunch of Hormonal Teenagers’
The superhero genre is now so large that it is splintering off into other sub-genres. It’s not enough anymore to have a dude in tights who flies and punches people; you’ve gotta have a hook. Fox has proven increasingly adept at differentiating their comic-book products from the rest of the market in recent years, with films like the wacky Deadpool and the bleak Logan. Apparently you can expect a similar departure from their next X-Men adaptation, New Mutants.
It’s like watching mutants go through adolescence and they have no impulse control, so they’re dangerous. The only solution is to put them in a ‘Breakfast Club’ detention/ ‘Cuckoo’s Nest’ institutional setting. It protects the people on the outside, but it’s strange and combustible inside. The genre is like a haunted-house movie with a bunch of hormonal teenagers. We haven’t seen it as a superhero movie whose genre is more like ‘The Shining’ than “we’re teenagers let’s save the world.”
The Breakfast Club is having a superhero moment in 2017; it was one of the major influences on Jon Watts’ reinvention of Spider-Man in Spider-Man: Homecoming. Apparently it’s also one of Josh Boone’s touchstones for New Mutants, only with a twist of horror from something like The Shining.
Although New Mutants is full of young characters, the original comic did have significant strains of darkness, particularly in the run illustrated by the great Bill Sienkiewicz. If the movie even has a little of that horrific flavor, it really could stand out from the rest of the superhero movie pack. New Mutants, which recently wrapped production, opens in theaters on April 13, 2018.