X (2022) Poster

(II) (2022)

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Ti West's exploitation mash-up
gortx31 March 2022
Ti West's movie really should have been called "E" for elevated. It sets itself up as a smart take on the slasher films of the 70s and early 80s. As a bonus, the film within a film has the filmmakers making an 'elevated' porn flick (as a bonus, actor Owen Campbell who plays the "Director" even looks a bit like Director Tobe Hooper).

Quite consciously taking it's set up from Tobe Hooper's 1974 TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE, X has a group of randy pornographers renting a farmhouse from an elderly couple in the middle of nowhere in Texas (actually New Zealand). Writer-Director West's main idea here is to set up a contrast between the XXX filmmakers and the bible thumping civilians of the area. It's not an uninteresting idea, which, of course, plays off the the puritanical cliche in the slasher films of yore where the most sexually active characters are the most likely to g et killed off. In addition to MASSACRE, West includes nods to FRIDAY THE 13TH, Hooper's EATEN ALIVE and a very specific one to HALLOWEEN. X is set about 5 years after MASSACRE so that it can include a brief exchange about how home video will change the porno industry (adult films were already available on VHS for about 3 years).

The movie is very well directed, with savvy use of cross-cutting between the porn film in the making and the terrors that await the group. Mia Goth (in a dual role; actually a triple if you stay after the credits) and Brittany Snow are the two pornstars to be and each dive in with relish. Kid Cudi is the cocky stud, while Martin Henderson is solid as the confidant Producer. Jenna Ortega is the "crew" all by her lonesome (she manages to keep her clothes on - must have a better agent). Stephen Ure is the ornery old man who rents out his guest house.

As good as the filmmaking is, X ends up feeling too studied. The pacing is lugubrious even if it picks up towards the very end. Once the massacre begins (if not by power tools) it still ends up being fairly typical of the films it's commenting on, regardless of how well executed and 'elevated' it thinks it is. It's also too drawn out to satisfy some gore-hounds and once the blood starts flowing, probably too gross for the internet scribes dreaming of doing extended online essays dissecting it for it's elevated intellect. There are a couple of twists, but they aren't sufficient enough to compensate for the predictability.

In the end, it's not as clever as West thinks it is, and despite some good Directing chops and acting, it's simply too self-conscious to be much of a fun thrill ride.
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8/10
Nice old-fashioned horror-flick with some hefty gore.
johannes2000-116 March 2022
I liked it. It's a nice old-fashioned (flawlessly 70's styled) slasher horror-flick, with a fairly original premise. As in any comparable horror movie the motives for the killings are pretty farfetched, but who cares, when they are pictured so relentlessley gruesome, the gore here is definitely not for the tender-hearted. Another strong point is how the movie very gradually builds up the tension, this is a real slow burner, the apprehension of looming doom is palpable throughout the movie. This is helped by a strong direction, a very clever and inventive editing, and some great photography, see for instance the scene of one of the girls swimming in the lake, while... well, I won't give it away, but it's beautiful and hair-raisingly scary at the same time!

Add to all this some very funny dialogues and goings-on at the start, and you're in for a well made, old-school horror flick, maybe not life-changing but absolutely entertaining for those who can apprciate this kind of movie (like me!).
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3/10
What a great disappointment ...
tchitouniaram16 April 2022
My expectations were quite high for this film ... After watching it , I just don't understand what's all the hype is about ? To call it mediocre is to make a compliment ! Slow , predictable , not very clever horror , which is not even a horror , just an unrealistic portrayal of mayhem based on sex... Highly not recommended !
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6/10
Worth a watch
westy_captain2 October 2022
Not really a jump scare sort of deal and like if you read the little description about the movie it has all the spoilers in it already.

First point, I thought it was really funny when kid Cudi was standing in the door frame and you could only see his shadow

Secondly For a movie about making a porno, there were adequate number boobs shown.

And the prosthetics used to make the main actor look older we're great. In all worth a watch like most things above 5 stars

Little note to IMDB -Not only do I not want to write a 500 word essay I also would not like reading other peoples 500 word essays. Make it like 200 easy.
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5/10
X
JoBloTheMovieCritic19 March 2022
5/10 - while it was nice to see Brittany Snow on the big screen again after the Pitch Perfect movies and it continued Jenna Ortega's Hollywood takeover, this utterly bizarre, inconsistent, and incomplete attempt at a "sexy slasher" starts off strong but a few moments aside, becomes utterly laughable in the last 45 minutes.
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6/10
Nothing new here, but nothing bad either
aidanratesmovies2 April 2022
An interesting slow burn, but without enough to make it stand against the countless other slasher films, X is a fine film and another tribute to the iconic genre that made horror so popular in the first place. Granted, I do enjoy myself a slasher film from time to time- I'm quite fond of films like Nightmare on Elm Street and My Bloody Valentine, but where X faults among the others is through using a rather familiar formula without any true unique purpose. Throughout the film the characters often talk about an X factor, something that makes Mia Goth's character special and starworthy- but unlike its mentionings- this film just doesn't have that. The acting is really good, I love the underrated Mia Goth as always- as well as Brittany Snow, Martin Henderson, and even Kid Cudi did a rather impressive job. The cinematography is fantastic and perfectly fits the amitpshere and tone the film is going for. The music is enjoyable and tense, and its pacing can be a bit slow at times, but does allow for an interesting point of view. Its main problem lies solely in its script, which revolves largely around a smut film production- but takes too many elements and formulaic tendencies from other horror films like Evil Dead, Friday the 13th, The Visit and most obviously Texas Chainsaw Massacre to really stand out on its own and become its own thing. In the end, its not a bad watch, I wouldn't watch it again, but I certainly didn't mind watching it. It isn't the most memorable, but I certainly don't have any disdain for it. It just could have been more, especially given the talent involved, but ironically it settled for less.

My Rating: 5.8/10.
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7/10
Strange, heartfelt, classic slasher
miles67015 April 2022
I didn't know what to expect going into this movie. Some reviews said it was porn with some horror, some said it was a slasher B movie. Some said decent acting and a good gore fest.

It was all of the above, though I'd say less porn, there are some nude/sex scenes but they're really not the heart of the movie. The gore is well done, the acting is very good I think, and the overall slasher aspect is reasonable, though it could have been a little more creative.

Saying all of that none of it is what I'll remember this movie for. What really struck me in this movie was the portrayal of age and how it affects people and their relationships, I actually felt really sad for some of the characters in this movie, and that isn't usually how I'd expect to feel watching a slasher. It really did feel like the writers, directors,. And actors were trying to remind us of something whilst also making a decent slasher. I think it's to value our youth, and our lives as much as we can. I don't want to say much more as I don't want to spoil the movie. Needless to say if you're looking for a decent movie to check out I'd recommend giving this a go. It will entertain you and also make you think a little about the problems others have.
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3/10
Indecent slasher movie
supermellowcali18 April 2022
A verrrrry slow first hour, then murder with slow, silly mistakes. Overall good low-budget production but without payoff unless you like murder without sense and little story.
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4/10
If Takashi Miike did Southern Hospitality...
Xstal14 April 2022
... there'd be plenty of flesh and gore and comical carnage to see, with disfigured torsos, extreme loss of blood flow, and attempts to escape but not being able to quite flee.

... and it would be better than this.
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8/10
A Fun, Classically Styled Slasher
cadillac2018 March 2022
Paying homage to the slashers of yesteryear is nothing new, but Ti West's new movie X makes it feel fresh. He does this by primarily bringing attention to the sex parts of the genre and exploring what sex means. This is, after all, in part about a crew of people attempting to make a porno. But the sex angle goes beyond just cheap titillation. It is at the heart of the film, and West seems to be most interested in what the experience means, whether it's for love, a way to recapture youth, or getting the most out of life while one is still capable of experiencing the act.

Beyond all this, though, is a fun, classically styled slasher that is equal parts titillation and slasher mayhem. Some may find the amount of nudity and sex, and heck the subject matter itself, distasteful, but for slasher fans, this will remind you of much of the early years of the genre. A lot has been made about how this is so heavily inspired by Texas Chainsaw Massacre and it's easy to see why. The majority of the film revolves around the singular location, an old farm seemingly in the middle of nowhere, Texas, ripe for plenty of slasher fun. Ti doesn't skimp on the red stuff either. While nothing gets too outlandishly creative, we do get some brutal kills with often gory results.

It helps that characters are written well and likable. Despite the sleazy material they're attempting to create, they don't feel shallow or sleazy themselves. They believe in their work and the reasons for making it. While it may have been nice to get a little more depth out of them, they clearly have history and there are things hinted at that never get much development, they're at least a decent crowd of folks who are fun to be around. As for the villains, they're not quite as out there or mysterious as the trailer would lead you to believe. In fact, they're pretty grounded, but never the less creepy and tension is maintained consistently once the violence starts.

If you know what the film's about, you have a pretty good idea of what to expect. It does take some unusual turns, but for me that only added to just how much the film stood on it's own. It certainly feels like a fresh entry into the slasher genre, something the genre needs. Ti West continues to make a name for himself as someone to watch out for. Have fun with this sexy, bloody good time.
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9/10
Perfect slow burn
UniqueParticle18 March 2022
A very stylish rendition of original porn leading to some brilliant horror set in 1979 that is well written and fun to watch! X is surprising in all the right ways and very weird reminds me of M. Nights The Visit just more extreme. I was surprised to see Sam Levinson's name in the credits I love him and his projects! Ti West created something special, I've seen a couple of his films he seems to gear towards disturbed older folks which is quite effective.
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1/10
Terrible
davish_wulf-124 April 2022
It isn't a porno movie, it isn't an erotic movie, it isn't an horror or suspenceful movie.

It isn't anything, but a total waste of time.

Takes too long for anything to finally happen and when it does, it is totally predictable.

What a terrible waste of time watching sex clichés, exagerated old age stereotypes and a complete lack of suspence, horror or anything worthwile.

Why even bother wasting money or time filming this?
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5/10
Overhyped and pretty dumb
Chi-C-Dawg24 March 2022
I can't with movies full of characters that just walk around without any instinct doing the absolute dumbest things they could possibly choose before they're murdered. It's literally the whole movie. The 'action and gore' is actually pretty tame. The sex is explicit. The characters are idiots.
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2/10
I don´t get all the raving reviews
tlarraya30 April 2022
The movie is ok. The acting is very good. But the old couple don´t seem believable. I don´t get all the raving reviews. I wish I had watched something else.
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5/10
Gross and weird, not in a good way
FeastMode18 March 2022
This is a technically well-made movie. It's a slow burn but I was never bored. I was enjoying it and curious to see what comes next. Until it got weird. And gross. This is coming from someone who watches tons of horror and gore. That wasn't the problem. The gore is one of the movie's best qualities.

But the direction they take with some of the "horror" late in the movie is off-putting. I understand what they are going for. I understand that's the point. And the point does come across. It still doesn't change how I felt. Which was unsettled, not scared.

Some people might like that type of "horror" (like Gabe from The Office lol). I am not one of those people. It's unfortunate because it's a good setup that just doesn't land for me. (1 viewing, opening night 3/17/2022)
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1/10
Fails at every level
seveleniumus26 May 2022
After reading the plot, I expected to see a generic slasher movie, however, what I got was a boring artsy-wannabe flick, which takes itself way too seriously and ends up being devoid of soul or any kind of entertainment.

After 1 HOUR of extremely slow and tedious build-up you get presented by the most pathetic horror movie villains I have seen in my entire life. Scree-writer must have a serious phobia of frail old people, because that's the only way you'll find any kind of thrills in this movie.

With a pretentious façade, one might think that such a movie would at least be devoid of clichés, but they are all there - loud sound jump scares, extremely dumb victims, completely unrealistic kills, which you see coming a mile away, and one of the most pathetic endings to the slasher movie ever.

Just go rewatch Texas Chainsaw Massacre - both originals and remakes are a million times more entertaining than this boring mess.
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8/10
A fun throwback to 70's slashers
adotson-9823319 March 2022
"X" is a very bloody, and satisfying horror film from A24 that is able to pack enough scary moments, while also talking it's time to develop its characters.

The good in this movie right off the bat is the performances. Everyone in the movie is great. The standouts here are Mia Goth and Jenna Ortega. These two were great. The movie also has a really strong message about sex and what it really means for these people. It's a very strong message and it works. The gore here is also great. It's a very bloody movie and the final 40 minutes are amazing. It's also a very good looking movie. It's very well shot and there's a lot of creepiness to it. And finally I actually felt that the villains in this movie were actually very well portrayed. They were given a somewhat tragic issue, and it really added a lot to them.

Now I do have a few negatives. The first being that I do wish there was a little more crazy moments. I wish the movie had just a little more bloody moments. I also felt that the first act, while good, was a little too slow paced. I wish it do move a lot faster. And finally there are some things aren't fully explained towards the end.

Overall "X" is a very bloody good time with great acting, great direction, and some truly bloody moments.
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1/10
Typical Ti West fare
gc-1736514 April 2022
An hour into the movie before anything of note happens.

Then the next 40 minutes where a little bit happens

Lacklustre story using all the old horror tropes whilst actually making them worse

The guy cannot do horror stories, aspires to be Wes Craven but ends up more like Wesley Crusher.

I wonder how much of the advertising budget was spent on paying people to leave glowing reviews.
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9/10
X hits the spot
kosmasp9 April 2022
Ti West is back - I have to admit since we had a pandemic I didn't really think or realize he was gone. Something I only heard from others that this is his "comeback" piece. Again not how I view it, but nevermind that, enjoy this horror movie that also has a sexual tone to it ... and quite a lot of innuendo.

The sex is not just there to titilate of course (although I was more than surprised to see Brittany Snow show what she is blessed with), no it serves the story and especially one of the many themes we have here. There is a discussion about being young, living life to the fullest or at least to an extent that makes one happy. Before you get old and have too many regrets. Young vs old is something you could say. But the less you know going in, the better you will be able to receive.

The acting is good and not just from the clearly younger people in old age makeup (look at in the credits who is playing the woman if you have not realized it while you were watching). Effects are top notch, though not for the faint hearted ... you cannot be too squeamish.

Go in this ride, that while a serious slasher, is not with a touch (or more) of dark humor. And if you read some innuendo in what I just wrote ... well you may not be entirely wrong about coming ... to that conclusion.
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6/10
The Texas Chainsaw MEH-ssacre.
nikosklimentos14 April 2022
A decent slasher, but does not deserve a 96% rating on RT. The kills felt conveniently cheap and honestly everything was underwhelming. I was hoping to to feel paranoid or scared, but didn't feel much of anything. Spent most of the movie hoping it would get better or surprise me a little but we've seen this all before.
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4/10
A sex-crazed gore-fest that lacks its 'X' factor
Rebul2120 March 2022
After being involved in some great modern horror films such as Hereditary (2018) and Saint Maud (2019), A24's latest film is an immature mess that feels more like an exercise in superfluity than it is a meaningful narrative.

Set in 1979, X follows six Americans as they arrive at an isolated farmhouse for a weekend, intent on shooting a porno. Hosted by an unsettling, elderly couple, things soon turn into a full-blown bloodbath.

Obviously inspired by Tobe Hooper's classic, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974), writer-director Ti West ensured that X was full of slasher tropes, adding little originality to an already saturated genre. Where it does succeed is creating characters with some personality. Mia Goth's Maxine is noticeably unstable but tries to believe that she is a star. Bobby-Lynne, played well by Brittany Snow, comes across as the more witty, experienced porn actor. Jackson (Kid Cudi) is a Vietnam veteran, while Wayne (Martin Henderson) and RJ (Owen Campbell) provide the overseeing eyes to the pornographic production. Finishing off the cast, Jenny Ortega plays the outsider of the group, Lorraine.

Lacking believable or serious motives, the killers in the film were nonetheless unique, providing some creepiness and mystery. However, this soon subsides as we learn their quite ludicrous reasons for their murderous streak. They will certainly not be remembered as iconic horror characters.

From the beginning, the film uses themes of religion to juxtapose the vices taking place. The TV in the house shows a programme of a preacher discussing sin, which is repeated throughout the film. As well as this, a well-crafted shot of Lorraine taking off her cross while giving in to the temptation of being involved in the pornographic film hints at what could have been further developed. Unfortunately, the theme is only touched upon within the hour-forty-five runtime, in what seems a missed opportunity to flesh out the barren story.

This slasher focuses too much on numerous scenes of nudity in the first half of the film which then mostly moves aside to allow for excessive gore. The extended sex scenes are used in place of well-written dialogue and provide little else than what you would expect. It seems as if Ti West had more of an interest in indulging in some sort of manic sex-gore film than providing any substance to this horror show. And while the gore was well executed with some great effects on display, they are at times over the top and not for the faint of heart.

The editing of the film was unique, but rather out of place. Alongside this, X lacked adequate direction, with suspense in short supply and predictability with every kill. The film did not use perspective enough and could have created further tension within scenes by narrowing the viewer's vision and creating a more personal point of view.

Without a strong plot, X fails to create a memorable story and instead focuses on showing something more akin to a pornographic film and a gore-fest. The killers were boring and the kills felt formulaic. Decently written characters could not make up for some of the bizarre dialogue and while gore was in abundance suspense was not.
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1/10
2 words: TI WEST
pensacolacomputer14 April 2022
The movie is not a 1, but it DEFINITELY is NOT a 7.3, which is the score at the time of this review. Not to mention a 96% at ROTTEN TOMATOES...yes 96% LOL!!

Yes, this is a typical Ti West movie (which I did not know until after I saw it). Now it makes PERFECT sense why its so horrible. His movies are always CRAP.

THANK GOD I did not see this in the theater. THANK GOD I did not pay for this. I would have been really upset. But even for free I still feel like I paid something for it...like my time.

1/10 Another HORRIBLE TI WEST "film"
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1/10
Atrocious!
Go_For_The_Jugular23 April 2022
Nothing like I expected it to be.

I was aware that there was a pornographic element, but I think it focused too much on that.

I was expecting them to get caught mid-scene...and then spend the remainder of the film running away from an unknown killer, that picks them all off one-by-one.

But the killing doesn't start until well into the 2nd act...and from that point onwards, the film just drags. It's also really dark, so it's hard to tell what's going on a lot of the time.

The killings are boring and unoriginal.

The cast are dull and lacklustre.

The cinematography is basic and the sound is terrible - especially the weird sound they play for the jump scares.

Hated this and now I hate all the people involved.

Absolute wasters!
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4/10
Disjointed and not creative
billyfriedrich30 March 2022
I expected a lot more from this movie. It felt a lot like a reboot of the Texas Chainsaw Massacre. Too many similarities and the overall story is hardly believable. Disappointed as Ti West has made some good movies before. This is not one of them.
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8/10
Twisted, disturbing, and surprisingly smart
benjaminskylerhill18 March 2022
Ti West is an incredibly astute visual director, and with X, he continues to show this. He turns this farmhouse into one of the most hellish nightmares imaginable, where there is no place that is truly safe.

That being said, West has never impressed me with his writing before. His earlier films have very little detail put into the characters and themes-they're all concept and little substance. Thankfully that's changed with this one. This is probably West's most character-filled film.

Every single character in this story is incredibly flawed, yet still retains a shred of sympathetic humanity. The protagonists live too much in the moment with no regard for future consequences, while the film's villains yearn for a bygone era of their lives and harbor envy toward those who have what they have lost. Each group represents an untenable human desire, and it adds a layer of melancholy to the terror that unfolds.

It's not a perfect film; like pretty much all slasher films, there are some characters who exist just to get killed off in predictable fashion, and some death scenes come off as rather anticlimactic.

Additionally, because every character kind of sucks as a person, there's a two-edged sword in that none of them are particularly likeable and I didn't get attached to them in the way I think West wanted me to.

Still, this is quite a wild, effectively uncomfortable ride, and a far smarter one than I was expecting.
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