Director: Ti West
Writer: Ti West
Starring: Mia Goth, Jenna Ortega, Martin Henderson, Brittany Snow, Owen Campbell, Stephen Ure, and Scott Mescudi
Ti West’s X is a slasher throwback to the 1970s, filled with blood, gore, and enough tropes for a horror fan to play bingo with. It’s also the scariest film of the year so far and something that shouldn’t be missed by any horror fans.
A group of young adults travel to a farm to make an adult film to get rich and famous. They’ve rented out a farmhouse to avoid the judgement of others. While they’re making the film the elderly woman who lives on the farm starts to take notice of them and follows them around getting a little obsessive in the group.
The film starts with the police arriving at the scene of the crime, just giving you a little hint of what happened, before it jumps back twenty-four hours with the group of adults jumping into a van, Texas Chainsaw style, and travelling to the farmhouse. They even stop at a gas station, but there’s no warning not to go to the farm. All throughout the film there’s a slasher trope set up and then subverted in some way, the gas station is just the first. It’s a pure tribute to the films that inspired it, especially Texas Chainsaw and Psycho, which the film even mentions halfway through. Even visually, with it’s washed-out colours and almost grainy texture, it’s an homage to what’s come before.
For the first half of the film there’s a growing sense of dread and tension as all of the pieces are put into place for the second half. But once it gets going, there’s no respite until the end. It’s full-on horror that’ll have your heart beating hard, your nails dug into armrests and your eyes glued to the screen. It’s terrifying. There’s not an overuse of gore, or jump scares, just an overwhelming sense of dread that really gets under your skin.
Eliot Rockett does an amazing job with the cinematography with a blend of nostalgia driven shots and incredibly stylistic and stunning sequences. The moment just after the first death happens, it just looks incredible. There’s also a great use of music from the era, as well as a spine-tingling score from Tyler Bates and Chelsea Wolfe.
X is pure horror, filled with a love of the genre. The film is scary, unsettling and incredibly tense all the way through. It’s definitely going to be appearing best horror of 2022 lists.
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