Director – Ti West (The House of the Devil, The Innkeepers)
Starring – Mia Goth (Suspiria, A Cure for Wellness), Jenna Ortega (Scream, Insidious: Chapter 2), and Brittany Snow (Hairspray, Prom Night)
Release Date – 2022
Rating – 4/5
I have a love/hate relationship with A24. While most genre fans praise every horror film they release I find myself liking only a few of them. However, the few that I actually like I absolutely adore. I fucking loved Midsommar, The Witch, and The Lighthouse but most of the other ones that I’ve seen were huge disappointments. That’s why I never rush to watch a new A24 because I know their track record with myself. When I saw the trailer for Ti West’s X I wasn’t impressed.
Horror has seen enough Texas Chainsaw Massacre inspired horror films over the years so I wasn’t interested in it. However, when I received the press release for the physical release I went ahead and requested a copy. I saw a lot of hype for it among my friends on social media so I was a little curious about it. I had to admit, that everything I thought I knew about the film was wrong and X is one of the best horror titles of the year, if not the last five years.
**Spoiler Alert** The film follows an amateur adult film crew who travel deep into Texas to film their porn The Farmer’s Daughters at the farm of an old couple. They rented an old farm structure to film in without the couple finding out. Things start off innocently enough with the crew filming their sex scenes without the elderly couple’s knowledge but during one of the scenes they are seen through the windows in the cabin. That night things take a dark turn when the elderly woman, who is sexually frustrated, starts stalking the crew one by one killing them in graphic manners until her husband joins in forcing the aspiring porn stars to fight for their lives. **Spoiler Alert**
X was not what I was expecting and once shit hits the fan it holds back no punches and gives horror fans everything they want. Initially, when I saw the trailer for the film I thought we were getting another Texas Chainsaw Massacre ripoff or clone but the movie isn’t that at all. In fact, not knowing what is coming is what makes this film so god damn effective. I absolutely loved it and think this is going to be in the running for best film of the year along with The Sadness.
The acting in this one is absolutely fantastic. We have so many amazing performances with no weak links at all. The characters are wonderfully written which gives the cast something to work with. Mia Goth is the star of the show delivering a dual performance as Maxine, the aspiring porn star with a coke problem, and Pearl, the elderly sex fiend who is not afraid to kill in order to get what she wants. The supporting cast is just as fantastic with amazing performances from Jenna Ortega, Kid Cudi, Brittany Snow, and Martin Henderson.
The story for this one does have that southern Texas charm that was made famous by The Texas Chainsaw Massacre but, honestly, the comparisons between the two can end there. X does feel like a southern fried slasher with the elderly couple cutting down amateur filmmakers without feeling like another TCM clone. The movie moves at a snails pace during the first hour but the characters, story, development, and dialogue makes it enjoyable. With that being said, once we hit the hour or so mark we are taken on a blood soaked rollercoaster ride through murder and mayhem. When I say that this movie throws everything at the viewer it does. It’s absolutely amazing and I can’t wait to revisit this.
Finally, this film is fucking bloody. We get several different death scenes. Some involve slit throats, gun shot, crushed fingers, and even a gator gnawing. The effects are fucking top notch and you will seriously be thinking about these deaths for days after watching it. Overall, X is not what I was expecting and that’s a good thing. Ti West gives genre fans the first film in what I’m sure will be an unforgettable franchise. Do yourself a favor and watch this one as soon as you can because word on the street is that the X prequel Pearl is on it’s way.