Just when you think you know what to expect from an A24 produced horror flick, we get X.
Unlike elevated horror films such as Midsommar or The Lighthouse, Ti West’s X pays homage to two of the most under-appreciated and lowbrow genres of film: pornography and horror.
The film’s premise is simple: a group of young actors set out to make an adult film in secluded farmhouse in Texas, however, things take a turn when their elderly hosts discover what their up to.
Although X has been declared on Letterboxd as the sexualization of Texas Chainsaw Massacre, West’s stylish film manages to deconstruct some old-fashioned storytelling norms from the horror genre. In other words, just when you think you know what’s going to happen, something totally from left field happens. This kept the audience invested and brought new life into the slasher genre.
As for fear factor, I don’t think it’s necessarily scary. Bloody? Yes. Totally. However, there are solid jump scares due to Ti West and David Kashevaroff’s unique editing style. Seriously, despite its campiness with sliding transitions, their creative choices capture thematically parallels like none other.
The ensemble is also uniquely engaging starring Suspiria star, Mia Goth, former Disney Channel Star recently crowned the new Scream Queen, Jenna Ortega, the bubbly, Brittany Snow, and famed rap artist, Kid Cudi (who I guess acts now?). It’s a weird cast of misfits yet they work so well together.
Now. I have some plot spoilers I want to delve into because I can’t stop thinking about them. So below are my final thoughts in case you want to stop here.
Final Thoughts: X is an offbeat, fresh and gruesome good time with interesting elements to keep you intrigued.
*WARNING: SPOILERS AHEAD*
Assuming you have seen the film or the trailer (or you like spoilers), the older couple are the villains of the film, responsible for murdering the group (all but one! Obviously we need a “Final Girl” duh).
But what I found most interesting is what drove them to become crazed killers is their jealousy of youth and not being able to do the things they once could. And although murdering people isn’t the way to cope with getting old, the concept is something to sympathize with, because we all will grow old someday. It was an interesting choice from West but it made the film compelling and more realistic.
Also, HUGE KUDOS to West for giving us Mia Goth’s Maxine as the “Final Girl”. The trope has always stuck with virginal and morally pure women, however, Maxine is sexually proud, confident, coked up and unafraid to be her authentic self. And y’all, as someone who studied the archetype of the “Final Girl” in college, I am so excited to see some more progressive and real women take the role, and kick some ass while doing it.