Directed by Josh Boone
Starring Maisie Williams, Anya Taylor-Joy, Charlie Heaton, Alice Braga, Blu Hunt, and Henry Zaga
We have reached the end of the Fox X-Men franchise, and it has become one of the most troubled productions in the franchise. At the outset, it looks like a horror film set in the X-Men universe would be ideal. Burgeoning mutant powers lends itself to all kinds of David Cronenberg-esque body horror. Originally supposed to come out in April of 2018, it was moved to the spring of 2019 for re-shoots to ramp up the horror aspects. But then the Disney buyout of Fox began, and the film got lost in the shuffle. Once the deal was sorted out, it looked as though the film would be dropped in theatres to just get it over with. And here we are.
Danielle Moonstar awakens in a strange hospital. She’s told that her reservation was destroyed by an unknown force, and she was the only survivor. The doctor in charge of the facility — Dr. Reyes — tells Dani that they suspect she’s a mutant, and it was her mutant power that saved her. She is at the hospital to learn what her power is and to control it. She soon meets the other patients at the hospital: Rahne, who can turn into a wolf; Illyana, who can teleport and summon a magic sword; Sam, who can summon energy blasts to propel himself; and Bobby, who can shoot fire. Together, they start learning about themselves, their powers…and the sinister forces that Dr. Reyes works for.
What I Liked
The cast is pretty good and does all they can with the material. Maisie Williams makes and adorable werewolf. The small cast and confined setting gives it an intimate feel not often seen in superhero films. And (spoiler warning) how can you hate a film where a dragon fights a giant bear?
What I Didn’t Like
As horror films go, it’s not very scary. And I’m not big on horror films. It doesn’t take much to scare me. This winds up being just another variation on The Breakfast Club as our heroes sit around and talk out their issues. Even though it’s superpowered beings doing it, it’s just so run-of-the-mill.
It’s not a horror film as much as it is a YA film with some jump scares. And as YA films go, it’s pretty cookie-cutter. Kinda bland.