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Tuesday, June 14, 2022

Review: X

Director: Ti West

Screenplay: Ti West

Year: 2022

Slashers. We have had them of all types and colors, regularly following the same formula. In the vast majority of cases, an original story is not sought but to innovate in brutality and violence and how it is represented on the screen. But every once in a while, a film comes along that seeks to go beyond the mere creepiness of ultraviolent gore, not to mention it.

In "X," a group of young filmmakers rents a cabin in rural Texas to shoot a pornographic film. The cabin owner has no idea of what the young people intend to do, but he soon deduces it. Soon, their stay at the cabin turns into a nightmare.

The first thing that caught my attention about this film were two factors: one, that it is a slasher from the production company A24 and second, that the director is Ti West (“The House of the Devil”). A style of artistic films characterizes A24, and it is striking that they produce a slasher, which is characterized by being crude and appealing more to the repulsive. The combination results in a brutal and disgusting slasher, but with an impressive artistic quality, a combination that turns out to be more interesting than it should be. Then there's the factor of Ti West as a director, which makes me curious about the rollercoaster ride his career has been.

“X” demonstrates from the beginning both its artistic aspect and the loaded and scratchy aspect that characterizes the slashers of the '70s, to which it pays homage. The one that seems most obvious to me is “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre”, with which it shares some similarities, such as being able to pass the heat of Texas through the screen and create an uncomfortable environment and a feeling of constant danger. Although Ti West gives a unique aspect to his film, he also respects the canons that define a slasher and pays homage to them to a certain extent. One of the crucial elements in a slasher is sex between young people, but in this film, the plot unfolds around that element, where the protagonists work to make a pornographic film.

Regarding the technical aspect, "X" also stands out for its virtues. The work of the cast is phenomenal, especially of the protagonist Mia Goth (“Suspiria”), who has a double role in the film and executes both with mastery. I also can't fail to mention Jenna Ortega (“Scream”, “The Babysitter: Killer Queen”), who also does a great job and who, together with Goth, are becoming (if they aren't already) contemporary scream queens. Another aspect that should be highlighted is the creativity in editing the film, which offers one of the most interesting artistic layers. On the technical side, there is also the only aspect I did not like, which is the make-up of the villains.

I never thought to see a slasher produced by A24, but after seeing "X", it is almost logical that it would be made. Not only are the canons of this subgenre respected, but they exalt them by bringing a more artistic side to the game and resulting in an extremely fun experience. It certainly will be featured in several lists of the best horror movies this year.


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