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The New Mutants (2020) Review


The New Mutants

Time: 94 Minutes
Age Rating: 860940[1] Violence, offensive language & horror
Blu Hunt as Danielle “Dani” Moonstar/Mirage
Maisie Williams as Rahne Sinclair/Wolfsbane
Anya Taylor-Joy as Illyana Rasputin/Magik
Charlie Heaton as Samuel “Sam” Guthrie/Cannonball
Henry Zaga as Roberto “Bobby” da Costa/Sunspot
Alice Braga as Dr. Cecilia Reyes
Director: Josh Boone

Five teenage mutants – Mirage (Blu Hunt), Wolfsbane (Maisie Williams), Cannonball (Charlie Heaton), Sunspot (Henry Zaga) and Magik (Anya Taylor-Joy) — undergo treatments at a secret institution that will cure them of their dangerous powers. Invited by Dr. Cecilia Reyes to share their stories, their memories soon turn into terrifying realities as they start to question why they’re being held and who’s trying to destroy them.

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I remember when The New Mutants was announced and when the first trailer came out. I was interested with it being set in the X-Men universe (from 20th Century Fox) but what made it stand out was focussing on new characters for the cinematic universe, and having an emphasis and focus on horror. It seemed that there was some genuine interest by many people in this movie. As it turned out however, it got delayed 4 times, having been set for release in 2018 and 2019 previously. With it finally coming out in the worst year possible in 2020, along with all the prior delays leading to all its built up interest decreasing, not many people bothered to watch it when it was released in cinemas. It did take me a while to get around to watch it, but I ended up liking it despite its issues.


The script has quite a lot of problems. The plot is very familiar, generic and predictable, with very few surprises. The pacing was also weirdly rushed at times, and that’s considering that the movie is roughly 90 minutes long. There’s some awkward dialogue that probably could’ve been cleaned up with further drafts. There are some tonal inconsistencies, as The New Mutants struggles to be both a coming of age and a horror movie, and the two styles aren’t blended well. The most annoying aspect is that it doesn’t really bring anything new to the table, and plays things way too safe. There are references to aspects of the X-Men universe but its mostly standalone. I’m not quite sure how its supposed to fit into the X-Men timeline but that’s not really one of the many standout issues for me. It is worth noting that the movie was intended to be part of a trilogy, which isn’t coming anymore. That’s not to say that it doesn’t have some bright spots. Some moments and sequences worked well, there’s some nice and interesting concepts present, and I did like the small-scale stakes despite the large climax at the end. It also really benefited from its character driven approach, but it could’ve been handled better. The first act was alright for me if slowly paced, although I was still on board. The second act is where the movie is at its strongest when it is focusing on these characters and their interactions as they are trying to deal with their traumas and pasts. Definitely the strongest part of the movie. The third act is a bit of a jumbled mess as it gets into the climax, and it felt repetitive. It does feel strange that this is essentially the ending of the X-Men universe as done by Fox, as it was the last of their movies to be released.


5 main leads in Blu Hunt, Maisie Williams, Charlie Heaton, Henry Zaga and Anya Taylor-Joy give it their all in playing their comic book characters, and their chemistry together was quite good. Blu Hunt is decent in the main role of Dani/Mirage but is outshined by much of the other characters. There were mainly two actors among the 5 who stood out the most. Maisie Williams works quite well as Wolfsbane, and her romance with Dani is surprisingly well handled and the chemistry between her and Hunt is convincing. Anya Taylor-Joy as Illyana/Magik was the other stand out performer. I will say that the racist comments the character gives towards the main character is quite unnecessary and out of place (even if it’s meant to further show her as being a bully towards her), it doesn’t really add anything. That aside, Anya plays the role very well and is especially great in the climax.


The directing by Josh Boone is a bit of a mixed bag. Occasionally there is some good imagery and sometimes its shot rather well. Also, I do like that the whole movie is set at this one hospital. On the whole though, the technical elements aren’t anything special. The visual effects aren’t that good, especially in the climax. There are some horror aspects but not as much as that first trailer showed it to be. It really seemed like they didn’t want to commit to these aspects, and if they did it certainly would’ve given the movie a more distinct style and made it work a lot better. The action in the third act was entertaining but nothing memorable. The editing can be very rough at times, and you get the feeling that some of it was changed during the years of all the delays.


The New Mutants was much better considering everything from constant delays to possible editing changes. I like the character driven approach, the performances and some of the ideas. With that said its definitely got some problems, from the writing, directing, editing, tonal consistencies and most of all its wasted potential. Check it out if you’re curious but you’re not missing much if you miss it.

Marrowbone (2018) Review

Time: 110 Minutes
Age Rating: 860949[1]
George MacKay as Jack Marrowbone
Anya Taylor-Joy as Allie
Charlie Heaton as Billy Marrowbone
Mia Goth as Jane Marrowbone
Matthew Stagg as Sam Marrowbone
Kyle Soller as Tom
Nicola Harrison as Rose Marrowbone
Tom Fisher as Simon Fairbairn
Director: Sergio G. Sánchez

Three brothers (George MacKay, Charlie Heaton, Matthew Stagg) and a sister (Mia Goth) have just lost their mother. After her death they fear to be separated, so to protect themselves and prevent this from happening they decide to flee to an abandoned farm, a place that is not what it seems, because it hides a dark secret between its walls.

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I had been meaning to watch Marrowbone for a while. It’s a horror movie starring Anya Taylor-Joy, Charlie Heaton and Mia Goth and is written and directed by the person who wrote The Orphanage (a horror movie I heard is good that I haven’t seen yet). With all that, it really interested me despite some rather mixed reactions to it. Marrowbone is a rather solid horror drama which actually really works quite well, more so when you understand what kind of movie it’s aiming to be, and in that it really succeeds.

Marrowbone is just under 2 hours long and I was pretty interested throughout. I think something that some people will not expect is that it’s more of a drama than a horror and is a bit of a slow burn. I had a feeling going in that it wasn’t going to be a jumpscare fest or a typical horror movie, so I was fine with that. So yeah, go into Marrowbone expecting a drama with horror elements. I will admit that I spoiled a big part of the movie for myself while watching it (looked up ahead at the plot by accident), that being like the last scene of the movie and thus a big twist. I will say however that watching the movie knowing this, I can say that it was done rather well and it didn’t feel overly predictable, yet it makes sense and doesn’t cheat the audience at all. With that said, there are some bits to it that do indicate which direction the movie is moving towards, and some bits that seem completely obvious, so you might be able to figure it out. Also there was a minor aspect of the movie that I found a little hard to buy happening in real life, it’s not completely impossible, just rather unlikely.

The cast is all great in their roles. The main cast is the family, which are made up of George MacKay, Charlie Heaton, Mia Goth and Matthew Stagg, with all of them doing a great job. Their characters aren’t particularly developed (for the most part) but their performances more than made up for it, elevating their parts quite well. Also by the end when certain things are revealed, I think the lack of character depth was okay. There’s also the addition of Anya Taylor-Joy (no stranger to horror movies) who as usual adds quite a lot to every movie that she appears in. She’s very much a supporting character but she’s really good when she’s on screen.

Sergio G. Sanchez is the director and as I said earlier, he’s at least familiar with horror movies and you can feel that watching the movie. It’s quite a good looking movie, the cinematography is good and so is the production design, everything feels appropriately in the 1960s. The scares didn’t really scare me at all, there’s quite a few jumpscares in the movie but it doesn’t really get that annoying. Marrowbone doesn’t really create a lot of tension throughout the movie, though when you consider the story in its entirety, it’s not that big of a problem (unless you’re expecting a pure horror movie). However there is some very effective tension made when it comes to a chimney in the movie.

Marrowbone isn’t quite what I and other people have expected it to be, but it really worked for me. The performances are great and it’s well directed and the story is really solid. I know that some people are rather mixed about it but I really do recommend checking it out sometime if you’re okay with watching a film that has some horror aspects to it.