One of the reasons the superhero movie did so well in the last(!) decade is that the genre was surprisingly elastic, big enough to handle goofy space opera (Guardians of the Galaxy), political espionage (Captain America: The Winter Soldier) and old school Western (Logan). Now, Josh Boone is trying for what sure looks like a superhero horror film with New Mutants, a lesser-known Marvel property that served as an X-Men spinoff in the 70s and 80s. The movie’s release has been plagued with delays leading to lots of speculation that it would never even see the light of day but now we’ve got a new trailer and an actual release date.
Given the state of horror these days, there’s reason to be optimistic about the potential here. And then there’s the cracking good cast, which would be the envy of any other teen movie coming out in 2020. Masie Williams is fresh off Game of Thrones, Anya Taylor-Joy became the horror ingenue de jour with The VVitch and Charlie Heaton is one of the many breakout stars of Stranger Things.
In the comics, the New Mutants were the first group of new mutant recruits after the original X-Men moved on from Charles Xavier’s school. While not necessarily “horror”, the early issues were a good deal weirder and more experimental than most superhero comics of the time, featuring some gadzooks art from Bill Sienkiewicz and at least as much teen drama as it did bad guy beat-’em-ups. And a famous early story line involved a demon bear — very likely the same one you saw in the stinger of the trailer up there — so it had some horror influences. We’ll see if the movie can deliver on the promise.