X' Movie Review: Ti West's New Horror Movie Is An Absurdly Fun Slasher

X is an early contender as one of the best horror movies of the year. Writer/director Ti West brings a 1970s-era slasher that is gory, exciting, and ridiculously fun. X is a huge crowd pleaser that delivers exactly what its audience will be expecting but does so with a vibrancy that won’t soon be forgotten.

‘X’ looks at pornography as a get-rich-quick scheme

The year is 1979. Wayne (Martin Henderson) and his group head into a rural part of Texas to film a pornographic film. Crew members RJ (Owen Campbell) and Lorraine (Jenna Ortega) and cast members, Maxine (Mia Goth), Bobby-Lynne (Brittany Snow), and Jackson (Scott Mescudi) all have their own motives going into this movie.

X finds the group renting a cabin on the property of an elderly couple. However, the owners have no idea that they plan on filming an adult film on their property. The group must fight for their lives against the couple when they realize the real reason why this group of young folks came out from the city.

Writer/director Ti West is a slasher with a statement to make on age

West perfectly captures the 1979 aesthetic. X feels like a movie yoinked right out of the time period. He tips his hat to movies like The Texas Chain Saw Massacre with the protagonists’ van passing roadkill on their way to the cabin, but a much more gruesome one that hints to the viewer what they’re in for. Eliot Rockett’s cinematography superbly transports the audience to another time in the genre’s history.

X brings along a phenomenal cast that understands the assignment. Goth and Ortega are particular standouts, bringing the horror nuances from the past and mixing them with the present scream queen. Meanwhile, Snow brings a comedic spin to Bobby-Lynne that balances the film out nicely, along with Henderson’s performance that instantly brings Matthew McConaughey to mind.

West approaches the subject of amateur pornography in a fascinating way. He’s uncompromising in his perspective on both male and female sexualities. However, he creates an exceptional balance between each element of the film. This is the type of old-fashioned theater experience that expects its audience to react in big ways between its scares, humor, and gross-out moments. X is a blood-soaked throwback with no shortage of fervor.

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