The cast and creators of The New Mutants are calling it more of a horror movie than a superhero movie. Yes, the characters have mutant powers, but the film is about the frightening ways in which they manifest and the traumas that plague them. Cast members Henry Zaga, Alice Braga and Charlie Heaton say it didn’t hurt that they filmed in a seemingly haunted hospital too.
Zaga, Braga and Heaton participated in a New Mutants press conference via Zoom. They described some of their scary encounters on the set of The New Mutants, which is in theaters now.
‘The New Mutants’ set had a unique smell
Filming The New Mutants in an abandoned hospital, Zaga could still smell the history of the institution.
“To me, it was more about the smell,” Zaga said. “I think there was something really creepy about the smell that just got into your soul before you thought about it.”
Braga, who plays the doctor presiding over the New Mutants, concurred.
“Filming there really helped to get the feel of reality of it,” Braga said. “Having actual walls and actual energy for a film like this, it felt kind of like, in a way, like we were doing an independent film sometimes because we were on location. So, it wasn’t only blue screens. Also, it brings a sense to it and, like Henry said, a sense of smell, a sense of real feel.”
The crew of ‘The New Mutants’ got creeped out too
The New Mutants director Josh Boone said the location scared the crew members too, especially at night.
“There were several crew members who had weird experiences there, had to be walked to their car at night because they were scared to walk there by themselves after they’d be in the buildings all day,” Boone siad. “People definitely had weird encounters.”
Henry Zaga and Charlie Heaton learned the tragic history of the location
Since it was a working hospital at one time, there were ghosts, both literal and figurative. Zaga said there was a groundskeeper who told them stories of the hospital’s history. One really got to Heaton.
“I remember him putting his arm around me and he was like, ‘See that basketball court over there. The state made that for Little Jimmy when he came here.’” Heaton recalled. “I was like, ‘Oh, they made it for a kid, that’s so sweet.’ And they’re like, ‘He stabbed his family.’ And I was like, oh, that’s not good.”
Zaga also remembered learning one of the rooms in which he filmed The New Mutants had been the site of a death.
“I remember in the attic that we shot in on the first day, that was a place where somebody had hung themselves, they said,” Zaga said. “There might have even have been more than one person because the place that we shot in was 150 years old.”
That attic also had writing left behind by some of the old residents.
“There was some weird encryption on the wall or something that like,” Heaton said. “Was it a death note? I don’t know.”
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