Over the course of the last few years, we have seen comic book movies evolve by allowing themselves to embrace other genres and filmmaking styles. Logan was a western, Captain America: The Winter Soldier was a political thriller and Josh Boone's The New Mutants will embrace horror as its identity. That raises the question of how scary the film will actually be. To answer that question, New Mutants star Charlie Heaton recently opened up and confirmed that it would definitely lean headfirst into its horror elements. The Stranger Things star explained:
It's a story about these characters coming to grips with who they are and it's a horror X-Men movie, which we haven't seen before. I feel like, for an X-Men movie, yeah, I think they're going full-fledged horror. Without saying too much --- I really don't want to give away too much what it's about, it's very under wraps --- but it is, in terms of anything we've seen in the X-Men world, it definitely is a horror film. It's scarier than anything we've seen in that genre.
We have definitely seen horror elements weaved into comic book movies over the years. The stealth sequences in Batman Begins played with tension like the best classic horror movies, and even the creation of Venom in Spider-Man 3 shared numerous qualities with the body horror of a classic David Cronenberg film. However, Charlie Heaton seems to think that The New Mutants is in uncharted territory with how far it leans into the genre, even to the point that the film can actually be classified as a full-blown horror flick. Director Josh Boone had previously said that the film would push the boundaries of the PG-13 rating, so fans can expect something seriously intense.
Though the X-Men franchise has not fully delved into horror before, Charlie Heaton's comments to EW about the genre-bending qualities of The New Mutants make plenty of sense. As mentioned earlier, some of the best comic book movies in recent memory have set themselves apart by embracing other genres and weaving them into their respective narratives. Horror is hot right now (just look at the success of films like IT and A Quiet Place), so it seems logical for a comic book movie to want to tap into that particular style and try something new.
It also sounds like The New Mutants is only getting scarier the longer it takes to debut. The film was initially supposed to debut in theaters today, but it received two different delays to accommodate reshoots and is now set for release in August 2019. Rumors associated with the film have suggested that these reshoots are meant to make it scarier after the first trailer sold it as a full-blown horror film, and the new footage will bring it even closer to that spooky vision.