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5 Horror Sub-Genres Perfect For An X-MEN Spin-Off

The trailer for Fox and Marvel’s upcoming New Mutants dropped recently, and it shocked several fans who were expecting something a little more conventional from the long running superhero franchise. While most of the X-Men films have dealt with young mutants at Xavier’s School for Gifted Youngsters, the trailer for New Mutants features the characters from the original comic book line-up, but all while also looking like a straight up horror film.

The reason for this is that the New Mutants is based on the comics’ famous “Demon Bear Saga,” a kind of Nightmare on Elm Street type story written before Freddy was ever even a thing. Director Josh Boone, himself a lifelong fan of the original comics, is attempting to add a little spice into the X-Men film franchise with New Mutants being essentially a horror film. In fact, Boone wants to potentially make New Mutants a trilogy, with each film paying homage to a different sub-genre of horror.

So will the other New Mutants films take inspiration from the original X-Men comics when it comes to making horror films? After all, the X-Men have had plenty of storylines that could be construed as being horror stories. And while we don’t know what genre of horror New Mutants may end up being, below are five examples of horror sub-genres that could be perfect for an X-Men film or New Mutants related spin-off.

Sci-Fi/Body Horror

The X-Men characters have found themselves in and out of outer space many times. In fact, their most beloved storyline, “The Dark Phoenix Saga,”  is all about alien empires and cosmic entities. But Marvel Comics’ mutants also have a history with the terrifying alien race known as the Brood. This species, reminiscent of the xenomorphs from the Alien series, take over your body until you become just like them. The movies have shied away from the Brood in the past, but if they are going full cosmic sci-fi with the upcoming Dark Phoenix film, why not sci-fi style body horror like the Brood, too?


The X-Men have come into conflict with not just vampires in the past, but the big bad daddy of vamps—Dracula himself. In fact, old Vlad once turned Storm into one of his brides, although that turned out to be temporary (an alternate universe version of vampire Storm called Bloodstorm does exist though). Most recently, young X-Men member Jubilee was vamped out in the pages of the comics. Mutants and vampires have a long standing animosity going back to when Dracula tried to take Storm, and continued in the X-Men vs. Vampires event back in 2010.


From The Exorcist to Night of the Demons, a long popular sub-genre of horror are tales of the demonic. In the late ’80s, the X-Men faced a horded of other dimensional demons in the “Inferno” storyline. In that story, Cyclops’ wife Madelyne Pryor (who happens to be Jean Grey’s clone), gets brainwashed into becoming the Goblin Queen, and unleashes her demonic horde on New York. That particular storyline might be too complicated to reproduce on film verbatim, but a version could be adapted on the big screen with a tweak or two.


Although not strictly limited to the mutant portion of the Marvel Universe, the Marvel Zombies series did include the X-Men characters among their undead line-up, so technically, there have been X-Men/zombie stories done in the comics. Marvel Zombies couldn’t be adapted exactly as is, but by doing  a world where all regular humans have become undead flesh eaters—and only the mutants have survived to stop them—sounds like a damn good take on a horror version of the X-Men cinematic universe for sure.

Holiday Horror

Forget Halloween—as far as horror movies go, Christmas is the scariest time of year. From Black Christmas to Gremlins to Krampus, the holiday season has long had its own sub genre of horror movies. One of the X-Men’s most famous stories is very horror related, following Kitty Pryde (as the X-team’s newest junior member), is left in the empty X-Mansion on Christmas Eve, and finds herself alone against the horrific creatures called the N’Garai. For years, fans have wanted a Kitty Pryde solo movie…I can’t think of a better story to adapt than this one.

Which horror sub-genre do you think is perfect for Marvel’s mutant heroes? Be sure to let us know down below in the comments.

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Images: Twentieth Century Fox / Marvel Comics

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