Since its proposed original release date of April 2018, THE NEW MUTANTS has faced a litany of challenges that included date changes, the Disney/Fox merger, and the COVID-19 global pandemic. However, the tides have changed as THE NEW MUTANTS is set to see the light of day on August 28, 2020.
Per the official synopsis from Twentieth Century Studios, “THE NEW MUTANTS is an original horror thriller set in an isolated hospital where a group of young mutants are being held for psychiatric monitoring. When strange occurrences begin to take place, both their new mutant abilities and their friendships will be tested as they battle to try and make it out alive.”
Last week, Nightmarish Conjurings had the pleasure of attending a press conference for the upcoming release of THE NEW MUTANTS. The conference featured writer/director Josh Boone as well as actors Maisie Williams, Anya Taylor-Joy, Blu Hunt, Alice Braga, Charlie Heaton, and Henry Zaga. who took time to talk about the film’s challenges, how wonderful and patient the fans have been, as well as their excitement for the film’s release. One thing that stuck out to me, as I’m sure it will for our readers, was when the cast discussed the terrifying psychiatric facility in which they filmed at.
Most big studio superhero films utilize greenscreens but in THE NEW MUTANTS, the film was actually shot on location at an old psychiatric hospital. When discussing what that experience was like and how it affected their performances, actor Henry Zaga, who plays Roberto da Costa, mentioned how the hospital had a unique smell. “I think there was something really creepy about the smell that just got into your soul before you thought it, it was spooky,” explained Zaga.
Actress Alice Braga, who plays Dr. Reyes, also shared her experience of how the creepy setting helped to amplify her performance. “I think filming there really helped to get the feel of the reality of it. Like having actual walls and actual energy for a film like this” explained Braga. “And filming at night was kind of scary, I wouldn’t walk [around] by myself. There was no way.”
If you’re wondering if anything paranormal happened on set, director Josh Boone explained that many crew members experienced rather unsettling moments inside the hospital. “There were several crew members who had weird experiences there,” stated Boone. “[They] had to be walked to their car at night because they were scared to walk there by themselves after they’d be in the building all day. People definitely had weird encounters.”
The cast and crew also learned about some disturbing history surrounding the facility. “The groundskeeper that worked there for years had some really awful stories to tell us,” stated Zaga, which was followed up quickly with Boone’s experience chatting with that groundskeeper. “Yeah, I remember him putting his arm around me and he was like, ‘See that basketball court over there?’ and I was like, ‘Yeah.’. He goes, ‘You know, the state made that for Little Jimmy when he came here.’ I was like, ‘Oh, they made it for a kid, that’s so sweet!’ and he was like, ‘He stabbed his family’.
There was also the issue of the attic and a disturbing message they found. “I remember in the attic that we shot in on the first day, that was a place where somebody had hung themselves, we were told” explained Zaga. Actress Anya Taylor-Joy, who plays Illyana Rasputin, explained how “there was writing on the walls” with actor Charlie Heaton, who plays Sam Guthrie, chiming in to say “there was some weird encryption on the wall or something like that. Was it a death note? I don’t know.”
There may have been some truly weird experiences at this hospital, but not everyone was scared. Maisie Williams, who plays Rahne Sinclair, stated, “I’ve shot in too many abandoned mental hospitals. I’m like really way too chill about the situation.” As someone who has broken into an abandoned hospital in the past, I can’t relate to being that chill in those buildings; however, I admire Williams fortitude for not allowing the film setting to get the best of her.
Though it’ll be quite some time before we personally see THE NEW MUTANTS, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, one thing is for sure, the added supernatural and spooky experiences that the cast/crew experienced has only helped in adding another terrifying level to this horror/thriller.
THE NEW MUTANTS arrives in IMAX and theaters on August 28, 2020. **Disclaimer/Editor’s Note: Nightmarish Conjurings doesn’t condone seeing movies in theatres during the pandemic. Please consider waiting for VOD and/or Drive-In options and please be safe.
For more on THE NEW MUTANTS, check out our coverage from the virtual edition of this year’s SDCC.