Ti West's 'X'

Ti West’s ‘X’ (2022) – Movie Review

When word got out that director Ti West’s new movie, X, was coming soon and it was set to be released by A24, social media was plunged into a whirlwind of anticipation and delight. The news was everywhere. It was pretty much the only thing being talked about as this was some of the biggest news the horror community had seen in a minute. I, too, was beyond excited. It’s hard to argue that House of the Devil (2009) and The Sacrament (2013 – our review) aren’t superb films, so I had very high expectations for X.

I was lucky enough to attend an advanced press screening of X at a local theater last Monday night. I always love watching horror films on the big screen with like-minded people.

I wanted to go into this one knowing as little as possible. I had only seen one trailer and didn’t read anything about it before the show. Even though I am currently writing this review, I tend to stay away from them because I like to form my own opinion.

However, I left the theater feeling slightly underwhelmed and disappointed in what I had viewed. I loved a lot about X: the 70s vibe and feel of it—I want to thank cinematographer Eliot Rockett for the beautiful filming—the captivating Brittany Snow (Would You Rather 2012 – our review) and Mia Goth (Suspiria 2018 – our review) in a dual role, and the gore. The gore and the kills are fantastic.

I also can’t write this without giving a shout out to the music selections. You can’t make a movie set in the 70s without including a killer soundtrack. I also really loved the plot, as porn is usually considered taboo and not typically mainstream. I appreciate that while this was not actually filmed in Texas, you would never know it was actually shot in New Zealand. Production Designer Tom Hammock really couldn’t have found any better locations to film. 

Along with all the good things that I love about the film comes some things that really didn’t work for me. While I applaud rising star Mia Goth’s performance as both Maxine and Pearl and the stark contrast between the two characters, I have a hard time with the whole “gross elderly woman” portion of the story. When discussing the film with some friends, I admitted that perhaps the joke was lost on me or that I didn’t fully understand it. Having learned that writer/director Ti West had actually secretly filmed a Pearl prequel prior to X’s release, I thought maybe it is supposed to be vague on purpose, and maybe I’ll appreciate it more once I have viewed the planned trilogy in its entirety.

I’m not going to lie, while I loved watching Brittany Snow really embrace her character of Bobby-Lynne and that scene of Maxine lazily swimming in the lake—what an amazing shot!—it took a really long time to feel like I was watching a horror movie and the kills were so rushed in the second half of the film that they almost felt like an afterthought. 

I can’t end this review without saying how Jenna Ortega (Scream 2022) nearly stole the show as Lorraine, Kid Cudi (real name Scott Mescudi) shined as Jackson, and Owen Campbell (Depraved 2019 – our review) really stole my heart as RJ. Martin Henderson (The Ring 2002 –  our retro review) as Wayne gave me all the comedic aspect I needed, complete with a stunning pair of tighty-whities. I don’t think I could have asked for a better cast. 

With all this being said, here are my final thoughts on Ti West’s X. I may have left the theater wanting more out of the film, but it hasn’t left my mind since then, which must mean something. I would still recommend it, and I can’t wait to watch it again. Perhaps once I’ve seen all of the films, I will feel complete with this one.

You can catch X in theaters now.

About Tiffany Blem

Horror lover, dog mommy, book worm, EIC of PopHorror.

Check Also

‘Trauma Therapy: Psychosis’ Asks “What If Self-Help Gurus Are Really Sadists?”

Note: This piece was written during the 2023 WGA and SGA-AFTRA strikes. Without the labor …