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Review / “X” (2022) by Ti West


the slasher X from Ti West towith Mia Goth, Jenna Ortega, Martin Henderson is available on video since February 16, 2023. The review and the opinion on this film following the shooting of a porn that turns into a massacre.


In 1979 in Texas, a film crew made up of six people went to a small farm to shoot a pornographic film with artistic intentions. The owner of the premises who rented them a space is an old man who lives in seclusion with his wife and who is hardly welcoming.

X : horror and porn

Soberly titled Xthe new film by Ti West is a surprising discovery in various respects, capable of renewing the slasher/survival genre by drawing on material from reference films of the genre, from Psychosis (psychology1960) by Alfred Hitchcock and especially by Chainsaw Massacre (The Texas Chain Saw Massacre, 1974) by Tobe Hooper. For this last film, the link is immediate since it is about a similar scenario with a group of somewhat naive young city-dwellers traveling in a van and finding themselves in Texas welcomed by somewhat bloodthirsty locals. Ti West resumes the aesthetics and the warm and burning light of the film of Tobe Hooper with the principle of a final girl but with a completely original scenario by opening the constant dialogue between horror and pornography, like two sides of a cinema on the fringes of the cinema industry and which has imposed itself in the 1970s in the USA as two dark faces of a society which has lost its original innocence, notably with the butchery of the Vietnam War.

What is fascinating here is that Ti West also knows how to put his own tutelary references at a distance since he does not go so far as religious respect to go and film on the very location of the original shooting: indeed, diegetic Texas is in fact shot in New Zealand. The filmmaker thus affirms a very strong directing point of view which consists in creating referenced fiction with places taken for others and by carrying out a synthesis by the way by the summoned places, Texas and New Zealand, Tobe Hooper and Peter Jackson.

The scenario designed with magnificent relevance by Ti West multiplies the readings of the film with both a former marine who has become a porn actor and a young actress who dreams of glory to get out of her condition and constantly plunges her nose into cocaine and finds in the character of Pearl that Mia Goth interprets under heavy prostheses, his antagonistic double. Not to mention the young independent filmmaker who dreams of imposing a revolutionary aesthetic through a small pornographic production. Nothing is thus left to chance in the elaboration of the characters who offer as fascinating a framework of sources of fiction as the sets themselves.

X Ti west photo
©capelight pictures OHG / Christopher Moss

Ti West is a filmmaker as ambitious as he is ingenious, appropriating the entire construction of his film as director, screenwriter, composer, editor and producer. In all of these artistic roles, Ti West manages to impose a unique tone that never ceases to grab the viewer’s attention in a dizzying relationship to the plot.

The visual shock is not only carried here by the horrific scenes of assassination where the bodies of the victims are put to the test: it is the whole atmosphere of the most innocuous shots which are skilfully prepared to gradually bring out a wave of horror. Thus, the sequence of the pursuit of the crocodile filmed while diving works perfectly and prepares all the better the sequences of tension to come.

Editing is also used in its broadest resources, whether different sequences edited in parallel to associate by meaning situations that at first glance would be distinct.

Ti West has not finished developing the various nodes of his plot since he has already chained the filming of X with a prequel titled Pearl and get ready to shoot MaXXXine named after the characters interpreted by a particularly inspired Mia Goth.

This article is brought to you by columnist Cédric Lépine.

Learn more:

  • Available on video at Kinovista since February 16, 2023

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