X (2022): Movie Review (Written By Jaeden Noel)

The horror genre has been one I’ve had my eye on heavy recently, Titane, Last Night In Soho, Antlers and even Scream 5 have ranged from good to amazing for myself. X is the new horror slasher directed by Ti West starring Britany Snow, Jenna Ortega, Scott Mescudi & Mia Goth. The plot revolves around an adult film crew in the late 70's, going to shoot at an isolated location. When they arrive, they realize the property owners aren’t all what they seemed & when they discover just what they came to do, things take a deadly turn. It's safe to say, X was a gruesome good time. This movie is brutal, sexy, & such a refreshing homage to 70’s slashers that still stands its ground as a fresh concept.

Right off the bat I have to say the cast here is phenomenal. To be honest I was really skeptical with how Cudi was going to be in a film like this, I'm happy to say that he is a damn powerhouse. His character, Jackson has got this charm to him that sticks throughout the movie that you just can't help root for. Same goes for Mia Goth as well. I haven’t seen much of her other than this but I really hope that changes. Her character  definitely takes on a-lot of the films weight because there is a bit more focus on her character’s plot in this film as she's generally isolated the most.

Of course also Jenna Ortega, who is officially on her way to becoming a horror icon. She plays the character of the group who’s more quiet than the rest & less eager to be there. And at first I thought she’d be stuck in that trope but boy is that the opposite here. With this being the third horror film she’s in this year, it’s also probably her best role out of the three. Not only does this essentially solidify that she’s moved on from the Disney era of her career, but also how much versatility she has here.

One of the way’s that X is so effective too is by how well it creates an atmosphere. Wether it be the isolated setting, or the fantastic long take cinematography, everything about this just feels like an authentic grind house style film. The kills and gore were amazing & I actually had to look away for a certain moment during the 2nd act because it goes that far. In terms of our old house owner villains, They are two of the most sadistic killers in recent memory. These people do not play around with their killings, which are all creative and reminiscent of those like Jasons mom in Friday the 13th. 

The substance that they are given too is phenomenal. Their story and reasoning as to why they are doing what they do is so unique and very unconventional. I don’t want to give too much away with that because I think the trailer already does, but essentially, Pearl & Howard are sex deprived boomer incels who fear what they desire the most...and try to kill them. I also really dig how they handled the whole adult film crew/production aspect of the movie. There’s a-lot of discussion about the perception of what they’re doing and wether it’s good or bad, which is still relevant in times like today when the topic of sex work is more prevalent then ever. They even show the porno's they make which were not only hilarious, but felt straight out of the 70’s.

My biggest issue with this movie is there definitely are some pacing problems, I do feel like the first act dragged on a little bit too long & the second act where most of the "action" of the movie happens felt rushed. I feel like some of the bigger moments were sacrificed for character development in the first act which isn’t horrible, but something to definitely something to note.

At the end of the day do I think you should see X? Absolutely. It’s one of the first non franchise or tentpole movies this year that stands out. I can definitely see this becoming a cult classic down the line, especially with the announcement of a secret prequel that was shot right after X. Horror has been on a pretty solid streak so far this year, and I really hope that continues & if X is any indication of that, I am sure it will. 

X gets a 8/10!


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