If you asked for an old-school slasher, ‘X’ gon’ give it to ya

X | A24

X (2022)

Directed by Ti West

“It is possible to make a good dirty movie” contends RJ (Owen Campbell), the cinematographer who porn director Wayne (Martin Henderson) brings along to shoot a movie with actors Bobby-Lynne (Brittany Snow) and Jackson (Scott Mescudi, better known by his stage name Kid Cudi) in a rented guest house in rural Texas. Wayne brings along his girlfriend, Maxine (Mia Goth), who has ambitions to be a porn star. RJ brings along his girl, too, but Lorraine (Jenna Ortega) is more prudish than the others. Together, they’ll try to make movie magic under the noses of the old couple (played by Stephen Ure and Mia Goth, in heavy prosthetics) who occupy the farm house next door. But it’s 1979, and plenty of red state Americans are fed up with the sexual liberation of the 1960s and ‘70s. For the moviemakers, discretion may be the key to walking away with their lives.

X | Film Threat

With “X,” director Ti West creates a slasher with old-school sensibilities. Even before it gets scary, “X” is off to a compelling start. While some horror movies tend to focus on frights first and everything else later, “X” tells a fascinating story that sets up the terror to come. I had such high hopes at the start, when the horror finally kicked in I was actually somewhat disappointed. I felt that the motive for the killings was weak. While Mia Goth gives one of the finest horror movie performances this year, I thought it was a mistake to have her pull double-duty as the elderly Pearl. She could have still played the titular character in the prequel, “Pearl,” which Ti West released just months later. But for that role in this movie, an actual septuagenarian actress probably could have pulled it off with only a few alterations to the script. But credit to Goth for doing her best. Her costar Jenna Ortega established herself as perhaps Hollywood’s most promising young scream queen earlier this year in “Scream,” but she proves it again here. And what a surprise to see Kid Cudi in more than a cameo role in a major movie.

X Review - IGN

“X” starts off looking a lot like the movie that invented the slasher as we know it, “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre,” with their matching rural Texas settings, horny young adults in a van, and older antagonists in their old farm houses. “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre” was more demented, but “X” takes a stab at the kind of horror Tobe Hooper’s 1974 classic perfected. Everyone agrees that 2022 has been an unusually good year for horror movies, but few have commented on the diversity of the types of horror movies we’ve gotten. That’s what has made this year’s selection so great. “X” shows that it is possible to make a good dirty movie, and we’re all thankful for that.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s