X – Simmers with Tension
Director: Ti West
Writer: Ti West (Screenplay)
Starring: Mia Goth, Jenna Ortega, Brittany Snow, Kid Cudi, Martin Henderson, Owen Campbell, Stephen Ure, James Gaylyn
Plot: In 1979, a group of young filmmakers set out to make an adult film in rural Texas, but when their reclusive, elderly hosts catch them in the act, the cast find themselves fighting for their lives.
Runtime: 1 Hour 45 Minutes
There may be spoilers in the rest of the review
Story: X starts when a group of amateur adult filmmakers Maxine (Goth), Lorraine (Ortega), Bobby-Lynne (Snow), Jackson (Cudi), Wayne (Henderson) and RJ (Campbell), head to a farmhouse to shot their first movie, in hopes of making it big.
When the owners of the farmhouse Howard (Ure) and his wife learn of what they are doing, they are not pleased and leave the group fighting for their lives.
Thoughts on X
Characters & Performances – Maxine is the stripper that is looking to become a star along with her boyfriend, she is an addict that is desperate for the spotlight, she will find herself become the draw of attention, while going against the typical leading horror lady. Mia Goth does a great job with this character, making us have sympathy for a character that would normally be the morally weaker one. Wayne is the boyfriend of Maxine who has arranged this to happen, believing being the producer will help make him enough money to not need to wear a hard hat, he does come off being sleezy, but not to the levels we have seen in other adult producers. Bobby-Lynne and Jackson are the other two stars, with Bobby-Lynne showing all the confidence that she has to be happy to do this type of movie, while the ultra-smooth former marine Jackson, is the cool figure that doesn’t disrespect a sole. RJ is the director, who wants to make a real movie, instead of the typical adult movie, with Lorraine being his girlfriend who doesn’t know what to make of this world she is being thrown into. The six stars work wonderfully together, bringing to life their characters through the film, in a way many slashers struggle with. The owners of the home are the characters that give very little away, but make you want to watch every movement they make, drawing us in on another level.
Story – The story here will follow a group of amateur adult film makers finding themselves thrown into a world where they will need to fight to survive. The story will include plenty of parallels between the group and the preaching seen through the film, showing the fine line between the two ideas of life. The story will be one that keeps you on edge with each and every scene, waiting to see what the breaking point for the horror will be to happen, as from the opening sequence, we get the hints of the aftermath of what happens. X is happy to have the slower pace in the first half, filling the movie up with so many potential hints as to what could happen to any victims, giving the characters a chance to develop along the way.
Themes – X is a horror slasher that will bring ever ounce of tension to the table, making us wait to see how the film will leave us in the chaotic position, the opening scene shows us, it will have the horror, with some cleverly sprinkled reaction comedy that will lighten the mood, but not feel forced in any way, suiting each character’s reaction to what happens. The farmhouse location is excellent, with the reclusive couple being used to show the sweet type of odd couple not many people visit, but seem harmless. The use of different types of film will play into the film too, add the realism to the 1979 date in which the film is set in.
Final Thoughts – X is an excellent horror that balances the slasher side of the film, with the parallels between preaching religion and being an individual.