Review: X

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X (2022)

A steady balance of humor, originality, and brutal sequences elevates X, a campy infusion of life into the horror genre that overcomes a slow start (and questionable accents) to deliver a wildly insane third act.

An amateur adult film shoot takes a deadly turn on a rural Texas farm when the elderly hosts catch wind of what is really happening. Writer/director Ti West takes everything audiences love about horror films and mixes it all up in an entertaining, crazy romp. The young cast of Mia Goth, Jenna Ortega, and Kid Cudi, is incredibly talented and up to the task here, balancing humor, intrigue, and sexuality in a bonkers plot. Brittany Snow is especially good here, her chemistry with Cudi quite special. It’s all quarterbacked by a Matthew McConaughey-esque performance from Martin Henderson, a character with his mind on success and his libido off the charts.

X is not without its faults, however. The first half of the film is inconsistently paced, resulting in some boring stretches that bog down the narrative. The development of the antagonists (Stephen Ure and Mia Goth, pulling double duty) takes a bit too long for my liking, the climax and expected chaos coming a bit too late. Still, the that third act hits, all previous knocks on West’s structure go out the window as payoff after payoff hits the screen. It is rare to find such an original, well-executed horror film that brings back memories of iconic entries like The Texas Chainsaw Massacre and Friday the 13th, but X does exactly that. West has this generation’s horror hit on his hands and I can’t wait to dip back into this well.

X is now playing in theaters.

Rating: 4/5

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