So, in initiating a new genre—trailer breakdowns—onto this site, I thought about what film or TV show I should talk about. Some high drama historical film like Churchill? Nah. I’ll just talk about New Mutants. First, I’m a massive comic book fan, and second, why not? For a good period of my life, I purchased and read comics on a weekly basis, and I still collect bronze and silver age books to this day. So, while you can see my reasoning behind choosing New Mutants of all things to write this thing about, I also have to say that this is the first superhero trailer in a while that has left me genuinely intrigued.
Intrigued is the key word here. Most superhero trailers have brought me pure hype and giddy excitement through their stunning visual effects and familiar characters continuing their journeys. New Mutants does have its fair share of these in its trailer, but really I’m mostly intrigued (see, there’s that adjective again) by its premise. This is a horror flick. Now, there are gaps in my comic book knowledge, and you can chalk up New Mutants as one of those. X-Men is a difficult beast to get into, to say the least. With so many different characters, teams, and books running all at once, you can dedicate your entire comic book consumption to this one franchise alone and be quite satisfied. So, I won’t be commenting on the adaptation of the characters all that much as, really, I just don’t know a lot about them—save Anya Taylor-Joy’s Magik.
This trailer is a simple horror trailer. The characters are being held in an asylum of sorts, getting experimented on and tortured by unknowns in lab coats. Pretty straightforward, yeah? Like all horror trailers, things start slowly with Alice Braga’s character, Dr. Reyes, interviewing one of the kids over shots of a dilapidated spooky lab, and then taking blood from mirage (Blu Hunt) while speaking to her about rattlesnake venom. From there, insert the obligatory quick-shots of all the characters while the villain calls them ‘dangerous’, before a jump scare steps up the pace to action-packed running, screaming, and, well, more jump scares. By the way, all this happens while a cover of “Another Brick in the Wall Pt. 2” plays in the background. Side note: with the continued use of classic rock in trailers nowadays, why has it taken so long for Floyd to make an appearance? Anyway, the kids’ choir waxing lyrical about needing no education works well here and adds to the hype. The music matches well with the visuals and does actually become quite sinister and anxiety-inducing.
Now, you’re probably thinking, “This is just like any other horror film trailer,” and well…yes, it is. But that’s the beauty of this—we don’t see the kids’ powers, we don’t know how they will use them, and we don’t know how they fit into the horror setting. And really, that’s what got me the most intrigued. This is a horror trailer, not a superhero film trailer. Fox has seemed to have cottoned on to a concept that Marvel figured out with Guardians of the Galaxy. For the superhero film to survive in the limelight, genre conventions need to be played with. Guardians was a space opera, Winter Soldier a spy movie, etc. Now that Fox has got the memo, I have been hooked into wanting to see a flick I didn’t really care about beforehand. At the end of the day—isn’t that what trailers are for?