X (2022)

X (2022)

R

An excellent slasher homage with a strong emotional undercurrent revolving around sex and the body

7.7

Movie

United States of America
English
Horror, Mystery, Thriller
2022
TI WEST
Brittany Snow, Bryony Skillington, Geoff Dolan
106 min

TLDR

Good movie and all, but I'm begging someone to give these horror movies more searchable titles. Please.

What it's about

While shooting at a secluded farm in Texas, a group of pornographic filmmakers incur the wrath of the vengeful elderly couple who live there.

The take

Though it isn't the groundbreaking slasher movie that it initially seemed to be marketed as, X simply knows how to do its job very well: the gore is plentiful and the build-up to the inevitable kills is just loaded with anticipation. But where the film becomes much more interesting is in the palpable sadness that seems to follow all of its characters. Innocent or murderous, each of these people is just trying to cling to an idea of personal freedom and beauty that never seems to last. It's a horror movie that takes its portrayals of sex and sexuality very seriously, exploring the limits of sexual liberation in a country that actively tries to punish it.

What stands out

Mia Goth may have garnered practically universal acclaim in the title role of X's prequel, Pearl, but don't forget how great she already was in this film. Goth plays both hero and villain here—the latter role involving heavy prosthetic makeup to make her look unrecognizable—but her performance isn't just about physical transformation. As two sides of the same desire to be loved, Goth's characters become chillingly similar in more ways than one, so much so that any confrontation between the two really takes on a more surreal quality, as if this one woman is looking at both her past and her future at once.

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