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Reviews The New Mutants (2020) and Books of Blood (2020): Nightmares? Ha Ha. don't make me laugh!

genre: horror, mystery, action, adventure, comic book adaptation, super hero

The New Mutants (2020)

When the teaser trailer was shown on Youtube the film definitely peaked my interest. Since it was oozing with potential. Mutants who aren't aware what they are capable of and have no control can be immensely dangerous. What would prevent them from embracing their dark side?

So the horror approach made sense to me. However not in the way it was actually executed. The fright or dread simple wasn't present. Nor did the film succeed in putting me on the edge. There was enough there to make the viewing experience incredibly terrifying yet apparently they were more interested in being woke. Characters who never have been gay now apparently are? Why? It didn't add anything special to these characters other than love interest. Completely pointless if you ask me. (And no I am not a hater, I just think it's weird that they went out of their way to add this detail without actually doing something substantial with it. 

Now one could argue that a large part of the film is dependent on the surprise factor. Sounds logical since if you are unfamiliar with The New Mutants then chances are you won't see things coming. Well, I am not familiar with any of The New Mutants and still could predict what was going on. Granted I looked up the characters on wikipedia and quickly had deduced what was going on. It's puzzling to me why the people who were involved in making this film didn't take that in account and at least put some twists and turns into this film to also make it interesting for people who do know about these characters or just googled them like I did. 

That being said. The film was kind of entertaining although it felt like a lot of ideas and plans had been scrapped so that the production could be rushed for released. In origin films it's vital to explore the characters so that we get to know them well and what they are about. Seemed like all the focus went to Illyana Rasputin, Dani Moonstar and Rahne Sinclair. But even then we only get snippets of who they are. These characters are considered to be dangerous. So why not show or explain how powerful they really are? Even the original X-Men films showed situations of mutants losing control which usually had dire consequences. It's one of the main reasons why people fear mutants. They should have gone into this territory a little deeper.

Overall I think as a first film in possible new franchise this could work. Provided they amp up everything in future films (if they have plans of doing that of course now Disney has taken over.). As a stand alone film it's subpar. There is not that much happening. Nor does it feel there is something at stake. It's also not really clear how and where this fits in the X-Men franchise. There are just so many elements missing to make this compelling. But if you aren't that demanding The New Mutants is entertaining while it lasts. Pretty forgettable though!

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genre: mystery, horror, drama

Books of Blood (2020)

If this film is supposed to bring you nightmares then something is wrong with me since I was sleeping like a baby after I had watched this!

Books of Blood is an anthology film that completely lacks coherency. The three stand alone stories are connected and you will see how. But it's not really done that well. I mean it didn't provide that wow or wtf factor you normally get. For the most part I liked the premises of the stories. Only they were never terrifying or disturbing. And that is saying something since the writer of these stories is Clive Barker of all people. If you are familiar with his work and then watch this film you are definitely going to be underwhelmed. Especially if you are going to compare it to earlier adaptations of the stories written by Clive Barker. A couple of them are even part of the Books of Blood book series. The Midnight Meat Train, The Lord of Illusions (adaptation of The Last Illusion) and Candyman (adaptation of The Forbidden). 

So how is it possible that this film is so tame? Was it a budget thing? Or was did they tone down everything because it's made for television? Still doesn't explain the lack of tension and dread. That to me is this film's biggest problem. That and the pacing. I really needed to get into it and once I was it was already close to the end. By that time I really didn't care about anything.

Overall Books of Blood is incredibly underwhelming and boring. There are some moments that come close to the terror depicted in Hellraiser. Mind you those moments (20 seconds or so) are over before you know it. But they could have meant something if they actually had some impact on these characters.


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