X movie poster

X Movie Review

“X” is the title, but not the rating, of this horror movie. The plot twist revolves about a group of people making a porno film in 1979 in a backwoods of Texas. But when the cast and crew hook-up with the worst Hosts in the pre-AirBnB era, then the irony drips freely. Just like the blood from the edge of the knife…

 

It is the easy-going free-love era of late 1970’s, and right outside of Houston – a small group of people are off on a road trip. The destination is a small secluded farmhouse out in the boonies. This group has the purpose to film a porno movie, now that the VHS tapes can be sold to bring instant fame and fortune. Led by an alpha male, sweet-talker named Wayne (played Martin Henderson), this group is ready. His girlfriend Maxine (played by Mia Goth) is there also. On board are Bobby-Lynne (played by Brittany Snow), a striking blond with a free spirit. Her boyfriend is the minor-league Black porno actor named Jackson Hole (played by Scott Mescudi).

 

The man with the camera and cinematic ideals is named RJ (played by Owen Campbell). His girlfriend is Lorraine (played by Jenna Ortega). She is his assistant, and she might not be totally on board with all the next days of heavy romping around. When they are just about to the ‘final destination’, they pass a bad accident. Cow guts are spread all over the road, in a not-too-subtle hint of bad things to come. When the reach the farm house, the old farmer named Howard (played by Stephen Ure) meets them. He almost blows Wayne’s head off, until he realizes that he rented the old bunkhouse to them for the weekend.

 

Howard is an odd old duck. He wants no part in what these younglings are up to. Oh, and keep it down, don’t let his wife hear what is going on. She is another old geezer who wants to be involved in the action. I mean, personally involved in the ACTION… Pearl (also played by Mia Goth) has dealt with Howard for a long, long time. It’s been a quite a while since she has had her fields tilled, but Howard claims that his bad heart has made him give up the plow. Hey, it’s a good thing that the young guns out in the bunkhouse have a van marked ‘Plowing Service’.

 

The Porno Gang gets down to business, which means exactly that. Lorraine is quietly shocked, and RJ is the camera guru. Maxine goes out to a nearby swampy pond for some skinny-dipping. Good thing all the gators around there are kinda slow… Pearl hangs around and takes in the scenery, and watches all the horizontal activities. Wayne is diggin’ it – because he thinks he is going to make a killing. He will have all the VHS tapes he is going to market them and become rich. Bobby-Lynne is ready to fake it until she makes it. And Jackson has no problem in filling that Hole…

 

Lorraine has a change of heart and she decides to go into ‘acting’. RJ is ‘dead’ set against it, and this (of course) foreshadows what else will happen. Wayne is making ‘eyes’ at all the women in there, so more foreshadowing. Jackson thinks this day has been a ‘blast’, and Bobby-Lynne knows this new audience is going to ‘eat her up’. No giveaways or spoilers, honest! The one thing this depraved group of swingers has not considered. They have gotten in with the worst Host and Hostess since the Bates Motel shut down…

 

It’s not too long before the sharp knives come out to play. That, along with other various instruments of torture, pain, misery and suffering. Howard and Pearl are ready welcome all guests that they can get into the little cozy bunkhouse. But all these people will be ‘check in any time you like, but you can never leave’. There are some crazy people in charge of this asylum, it appears. The future ‘Porno Stars’ are ready to become Gator Bait. The swampy pond has a little VW pushed into the middle, just like the swampy place in ‘Psycho’.

 

“X” is a somewhat clever and subversive Horror movie. It has some interesting writing and editing that makes it a bit smarter than your average bear. It is a sly dig at the movie rating system, and at the ‘meta’ structure of some current movies. It’s a film about making a film, ya see? These kids are making a Porno movie, but at one point the cameraman gives a cheer for “independent cinema”. Ok, sure!  There is some gratuitous sex at the beginning that leads into even more gratuitous violence.

 

“X” is a phony ‘Porno’ movie inside this movie that morphs into a Slasher Bloody Gore-fest by the end. Just be sure to check out the Yelp ratings on that remote location before you stay there…

 

X

Written and Directed by: Ti West
Starring: Mia Goth, Jenna Ortega, Martin Henderson, Brittany Snow, Scott Mescudi
Cinematography: Eliot Rockett
Edited by: David Kashevaroff, Ti West
Music by:Tyler Bates, Chelsea Wolfe
Distributed by: A24
Release date: March 18, 2022
Length: 105 minutes
MPAA rating: R for strong bloody violence and gore, strong sexual content, graphic nudity, drug use, and language
Genre: Horror

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tmc.io contributor: JMcNaughton

Let's hope everything is now getting back to normal, right?

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