‘X’ Review

Ti West’s X misses its mark but makes up with a thriller coated in grindhouse elements.

CREDIT: A24

7/10

Ti West is back with another horror film and it’s not your standard slasher flick. What’s a way to make horror a bit more interesting nowadays? Well, how about we make it a grindhouse-type slasher flick revolving around filmmakers trying to make porn in the 70s? That right there is enough to get me into the theater for your new film. I will say that the trailer for this film did enough to get me excited. It did not completely sell me on the film but it poked my interest. I never watched a Ti West film before but I was willing to see what X would offer in the horror genre.

Ti West’s X stars Mia Goth, Jenna Ortega, Brittany Snow, Kid Cudi, Martin Henderson, Owen Campbell, and Stephen Ure. In X we follow the journey of a group of filmmakers including director Wayne, cinematographer RJ, Lorraine, and their fellow actors. Things are not that simple though as the group embarks on a trip to shoot their next porn flick in rural Texas. Maxine one of the main actresses is in a relationship with the director. Actors Bobby-Lynne and Jackson are together but not really as they are on and off. RJ and Lorraine are together even though she feels uneasy about pornography. The group arrives at the farm with problems with the owners, but once they are settled they begin to roll cameras. Of course, there would be no movie if things went easy as bodies begin to drop. The group must find a way out of the farm and find out who is killing them.

X is not your standard slasher as it is beautifully stylized by writer and director Ti West. The grindhouse elements perfectly match the atmosphere of this horror film. The performances by the very talented cast perfectly encapsulate the characters living in this time period. Ti West competently understands how to portray the porn boom period of the 70s. The themes of aging and a time-consuming industry that slowly manipulates people into working in it are profoundly examined within Ti West’s film.

Sadly X does not work all of the time as it drags itself throughout its second half to wrap up its story. The story between the elderly couple feels too underdeveloped to care about enough to see how it concludes in the third act. There are some brutal kills and it has its entertaining aspects, but the film meanders too much in its second act struggling to wrap itself up in the third. I appreciate a lot of what Ti West is doing within his unique film, but it leaves too much to desire. Maybe we will get more when his prequel film Pearl makes its way to the silver screen. Even if it does not work most of the time, I still highly recommend watching X if you are looking for a fun stylized slasher film.

Watch X on video on demand on most major video platforms.

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