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X (2022)

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In 1979, a group of young filmmakers set out to make an adult film in rural Texas, but when their reclusive, elderly hosts catch them in the act, the cast find themselves fighting for their lives.


Synopsis: A group of young adults rent a farmhouse from an elderly couple to film an adult movie and get more than they bargained for… Blood, guts and gore.

Story 4/5: Firstly, the reasoning for these young adults to get into their horrifying situation is unique and really fun to watch unfold. The movie gave me essences of From Dusk Till Dawn where the movie starts off one way and then twists halfway through to something you did not expect. In regards to the trailers, they never give anything away and to be perfectly honest I thought the movie was going to go one way and it definitely took a turn to the macabre. There are some tonally different scenes between the adult film making and the horror elements that really stick out to me with a skewed image of the world. I could also see some imagery and story points that reminded me of the horror classic The Texas Chainsaw Massacre that really put a smile on my face with this film obviously being a love letter to these types of films in this era. Interestingly, I think this story isn’t for everyone but it definitely was for me and this was only elevated by the great characters and acting.

Acting 4/5: Mia Goth (A Cure For Wellness, Suspiria) was absolutely mesmerising in the 2 roles (yes 2 roles) that she played in this movie. Her line deliveries and mystique of her characters really shone through and got me totally invested in what her character(s) were all about. She isn’t the only highlight as I think Jenna Ortega (Scream, You) has become a new scream queen in the horror genre as she puts 110% into her acting. All other cast members were really good and were likeable to the point that I got attached enough so that when they get killed off one by one, I was absolutely gutted to see certain characters go. The likeableness is apparent straightaway with the tight script and each character had their moment to shine, especially with Martin Henderson (Strangers: Prey at Night, Everest) who seems to be inspired by the way Matthew McConaughey acts in his movies and taking on that persona in an entertaining fashion.

Visuals 4.5/5: With a great slasher film there must always be great gore effects and this movie had mountains of brilliantly creative gore effects from a stab to the neck to jaws hanging quite literally on a thread. If you are here for the gore, then you won’t be disappointed as there are genuine cringeworthy moments which will make you wince at the screen in disgust. Another notable part of the effects is the makeup which looks absolutely wonderful on Pearl (the old woman in the movie) and will sicken and disgust you in every single way. The cinematography that is present in this film is superb and beautiful to look at with some inspired camera movements which know when and where to be in certain scenes. There are certain moments in the movie that could genuinely be posters to present in your house, they are so beautiful. Also visually the way that the adult movie making scenes are captured is brilliantly photographed and feels genuine. There is a certain filter that is used throughout the film that gives it an almost grind house feeling but unfortunately it doesn’t quite hit the mark with how a grind house film is usually portrayed. The director Ti West (The House of the Devil, V/H/S) and the cinematographer Eliot Rocket (The Innkeepers, Mr Mercedes) should be proud of the product they created.

Editing 3.5/5: When I heard that A24 were releasing this movie I got worried as it is well known that A24 make slow burn horror movies that are unfortunately like marmite to most people (you either love it or you hate it). I can say that even though the movie does have a slight slow burn, it is not excruciatingly slow to the point where you get bored. There are certain scenes that could be considered long and overdrawn but I personally liked the slow burn aspect to the mystery of the older couple. Some scenes were drawn out to make you feel uncomfortable and I applaud the filmmakers on editing choices of the film that made the horror elements truly terrifying. Each scene feels concise and purposeful with genuinely frightening imagery. Unfortunately, not everyone likes these slow burn, almost methodically edited films, so that is the reason why I have knocked it down a few points for people expecting a studio movie such as The Conjuring.

Sound 4/5: Each sound aspect of this movie works in it’s favour with the eerie soundtrack from Tyler Bates (Atomic blonde, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2) which draw you into the disturbing and frightful scenes. Not only is the original soundtrack great but the regular music fits scenes perfectly and sets the time period respectably. Also, the sound effects are effective and send shivers up your spine and moments of silence really amp you up for what is going to happen next.

Summary: A brilliantly shot film with some solid performances, especially from Mia Goth and Jenna Ortega, make this movie very memorable. Its spine tingling moral and its disturbing imagery is absolutely burnt into my retinas and I would definitely consider this a modern classic in horror movies. Unfortunately, I don’t think this movie is for everyone and I definitely had this feeling when watching the movie and seeing other people reactions. Will definitely be watching this one again with the knowledge of what is to come before me.