X is a horror film that was written, directed, produced, and edited by Ti West, releasing in 2022. The film’s plot follows a cast and crew who gather to make a pornographic film on an elderly couple’s rural property, but find themselves threatened by a killer.
In 1979, aspiring pornographic actress Maxine Minx embarks on a road trip through Texas with her producer boyfriend Wayne. Along for the ride are fellow actors Bobby-Lynne and Jackson Hole, director RJ and RJ’s girlfriend Lorraine. The plan? To shoot an adult film for the booming theatrical pornography market.
Bobby-Lynne and Jackson strike up a romance, while the religious Lorraine is unimpressed with the film’s content and RJ’s attempts to make it seem like a serious cinematic piece. The group arrives at the farm of Howard and Pearl, an elderly couple in whose guest house the group intends to shoot the film, The Farmer’s Daughters. Howard is temperamental towards the group while Pearl silently stalks Maxine. As filming commences without Howard’s knowledge, Maxine is invited inside the couple’s home by Pearl, where they have a conversation. Pearl laments her age, expresses jealousy for Maxine’s youth and makes a sexual advance towards her. She later watches Maxine have sex with Jackson. Pearl pleads with Howard to have sex with her but he refuses, claiming his heart is too weak.
Night falls and the film crew relax in their farmhouse. Lorraine expresses her wish to shed her reputation as a prude and is intrigued by the film. She asks to participate in the shoot, upsetting RJ. Eventually, RJ agrees to shoot a scene between Lorraine and Jackson, but becomes so furious over it that he attempts to leave while the others sleep. However, he is stopped by Pearl, who attempts to seduce him; when he rebuffs her, she stabs him to death.
Check out X to find out what happens next.
X delivers a fresh spin to the tired slasher horror genre. The ways in which the film showcases the metaphor surrounding the real life horror of aging. It’s something that will happen to use all so it’s naturally relatable. Pearl laments her fading beauty and the lack of desire shown by Howard. Let’s talk about the appearances of the elderly pair. Now, I understand the reasons behind using prosthetics to make them look particularly grotesque. They wanted to show the contrast between the young and old but it is a bit over the top and heavy handed in my opinion. For one thing, it looks obvious and is a bit comical at times.
The group of characters that we are stuck with are all one note. You learn nothing about any of them so to say I didn’t care much about their survival would be an understatement. Still, in these types of scenarios the characters are usually portrayed as being mean and unlikeable. I will say that it was refreshing that they’re all actually really nice and likeable. Apart from secretly filming a porno, they’re quite respectful. Without going too far into it, yes The Texas Chainsaw Massacre similarities are there for all to see.
Additionally, you’d expect a final girl and it does deliver that. However, it may just surprise you in that the one that they go with is in no way conventional.
The porn scenes make sense in the context of the story but it does feel like a bit of an excuse to show some tits. I’m not an expert on 70s VHS porn or anything though. It’s all shot well and there’s some nice imagery elsewhere too.
The gore effects are actually really good. A particular scene involving a character getting stabbed in the throat looks very nasty. It’s just a shame that most of the deaths happen suddenly so they lack impact. Also, a few sub-plots prove worthless like Lorraine wanting to take part and it leading to absolutely nothing.
The Final Score - 6.5/10