X Movie Review – Ti West goes full throttle in a throwback horror film

Damn disgusting x Film review is spoiler-free.

It’s been almost a full decade since I’ve been a writer/director Ti West‘S final horror feature, The Sacrament. Way too long. Luckily, West makes sure the A24s were worth the wait x, an homage to the gritty indie horror of the ’70s but with a wild style and a wacky sense of humor that’s pure Ti West. A deceptively simple set-up gives way to a horror comedy that leaves you breathless with both laughter and suspense.

Played in Texas in 1979, x opens after a bloodbath to the confusion of local officials. Cut to 24 hours earlier where a group of aspiring adult filmmakers load into a van and drive from Houston to the desert to shoot. Producer Wayne (The Rings Martin Henderson) tries to cut every corner for her limited budget, first recruiting a young cinephile to direct RJ (Owen Campbell), the girlfriend Lorraine (Jenna Ortega) to support and handle the boom microphone. Wayne has his girlfriend Maxine (Mia Goth), Bobby Lynne (Brittany snow) and Jackson (Scott Mescudi) to the star. Then he cheaply rented a boarding house from the reclusive Elder Howard (Stefan Ure), who warns her to stay away from his wife.

The porn production quickly turns into a fucked up horror picture as things spiral out of control.

West has many surprises in store x, but the first straight out of the gate is just how insanely fun it is. From the little details like “Plowing Service” emblazoned on Wayne’s van to the consistent tongue-in-cheek euphemisms befitting adult film production, x has a delightfully wicked sense of humor. Snow and Mescudi are notable for their lines and comedic timing; her character gags and one-liners land with perfection.

The second big shock is how fiercely the filmmaker combines comedy with horror. While it’s no surprise that West knows how to build suspense, they take it to a whole new level here. West editing with him David Kaschevaroff, finds ingenious and innovative ways to create compelling suspense through editing. Spliced ​​scenes don’t just create visual interest; They deliver powerful terrors. Overhead shots create uneasiness, a master class of terror and foreboding with gratifyingly intense payoffs later. West’s intoxicating blend of style and bogeyman creates a visceral horror experience.

That doesn’t even remotely cover the blood of everything. x is a crowd favorite when it comes to brutal bloodshed and killing. Some deaths make you queasy, and some make you cackle with delight. All of this is immensely satisfying.

x West fires on all cylinders. The commitment to this period is of the highest order, capturing the aesthetic and vibe without ever coming close to pastiche. It’s all the more impressive considering how much humor is injected that could have quickly pushed this into parody territory in other hands. The editing is a masterclass, marveling at how West structures this wild tale to maximize suspense or provide respite through an onslaught of terror.

Then there’s the cast. The streamlined, no-nonsense narrative gets straight to the point and never wastes time on elaborate expositions. It’s all down to the small details and talented cast that make these characters feel like they’re being lived with a shared story. We’re cheering for this crazy, free-spirited bunch because they’re so charming and genuine. Of course, it goes well with the effect of horror.

The setting and time period allow for easy comparisons The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, and West uses that to lull the viewers into a lull before knocking the rug out from under them. They share similar DNA and pure grit, but it’s a narratively different beast that shows why the West should be given full reign to go full throttle in wacky, wild and intense horror comedies more often. It’s a great time.

x Theatrical release on March 18, 2022.

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