Cinema Dispatch: The New Mutants

The New Mutants and all the images you see in this review are owned by 20th Century Studios

Directed by Josh Boone

I was going to the movies multiple times a week for YEARS before this pandemic hit, and one of the things I kept seeing over and again was trailers for this movie. Every few months there’d be another one but with a different release date on it, and it got so ridiculously long that I vowed to be there opening day to see what kind of nonsense they were trying to cover up in post-production. Then the world came to an end and wouldn’t you know it? One of the first movies to go to theaters AND NOWHERE ELSE happened to be this one. All was not lost however as it turns out there’s a drive in theater nearby (the ONLY place I’ll go to see a movie right now) and they actually had this movie on their schedule, and so I was able to go out and keep that promise I made to myself all those years ago without having to take an unnecessary risk of CATCHING A POTENTIALLY LIFE THREATENING DISEASE in the process! So with all that buildup, with all the shakeups at the studio, and with all the world events that have broken the world between the first teaser trailer to now, does the movie manage to be any good? Did all the extra time working on it prove to be a fruitful endeavor, or are they hoping that the threat of getting sick would be enough for them to sneak this out without anybody noticing? Let’s find out!!

Dani Moonstar (Blu Hunt) finds herself stuck inside of a hospital of some sorts with a bunch of other young people under the watchful eyes of Dr. Reyes (Alice Braga) who informs her that her family is dead and that she’s here because she PROBABLY caused it. Why? Well because she’s a mutant of course, and so is everyone else here! We’ve got Sam (Charlie Heaton) who can go fast and make things explode, Illyana (Anya Taylor-Joy) who… has some sort of teleportation and sword fighting powers, Roberto (Henry Zaga) who’s the most dudebro dude ever and also might have fire powers, and Rahne (Massie Williams) who is… well she’s just a werewolf. I didn’t realize that fell under MUTANT powers, but I guess you can call anything a mutant power if you try hard enough. In any case, they’re all stuck in here with the discount Nurse Ratched who’s trying to get them to learn to control their powers through… group therapy sessions I guess, and clearly has some sinister motivations for keeping them all there that they’re vaguely aware of but none too concerned about. Dani, still trying to figure out exactly what happened to her father and not even knowing what her own super power is, tries to make the most of this very bizarre situation which only gets more disturbing once everyone starts having terrifying dreams or something relating to their past traumas which is certainly not making the overall dingy atmosphere of this place any more cheery. What exactly are Dani’s powers and are they in any way connected to the strange goings on at the hospital? What does Dr. Reyes have planned for them once she’s deemed them to be “better”, and is it somehow worse than having stay here? Are they actually stuck in some sort of Groundhog’s Day time loop which is why it feels like this movie’s been around for a hundred years!?

Nope. Nope. There we go!
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Cinema Dispatch: Shut In

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Shut In and all the images you see in this review are owned by EuropaCorp

Directed by Farren Blackburn

So when did this movie get announced, because I didn’t know anything about it until I looked up the new releases for this week.  It’s not like Naomi Watts is an unknown actor, and horror movies are big business right now, so the fact that I didn’t even see a trailer for this at any of the horror films I saw this year is not a great sign of what’s to come.  Still, it’s not like movies that get a whole bunch of press are guaranteed to do any better, and a lot of great horror films don’t even get a theatrical release, so maybe they just didn’t know how to sell something like this.  Does this film deliver yet another fantastic horror experience in a year that has already had so many, or will this just get lost in the shuffle?  Let’s find out!!

The movie follows the Portman Family who at one point consisted of three able bodied and happy members, but after a car accident has been reduced to the mother Mary (Naomi Watts) and her son Steven (Charlie Heaton), the latter of whom has suffered severe brain damage and is pretty much unable to move or communicate.  After six months of this routine where she cares for her son and then goes to work as a childhood psychologist, things start to change when one of her patients Tom (Jacob Tremblay) is being moved to Boston so that he can get more specialized care.  The night after Mary finds this out however, Tom shows up at her doorstep… well technical he smashes the window to her car and crawls inside, and while Mary is trying to figure out what to do next, the boy disappears into the night.  So not only is she dealing with her son who is in need of constant care, she now has a possible dead boy on her conscious (they’re up in Maine so it’s snowing all the freaking time) and starts to hear things go bump in the night along with a series of night terrors that are making it hard for her to distinguish between fantasy and reality.  Are the things that Mary is hearing at night real and a possible threat to her and Steven?  Will Tom be found at some point, or is he really just a kid-cicle waiting to be uncovered once Spring rolls around?  Wait, didn’t I see this movie like a year ago!?

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“I wonder what The Babadook would be like if it didn’t have The Babadook in it.  Steven, get the camera.  Oh right… I’ll just get it.”

Continue reading “Cinema Dispatch: Shut In”