X; Grade: B
X tells a story about a film crew heading on their way in the middle of nowhere in Texas, bound to stay in a cottage like hut building surrounded by a field and a lake. The intentions of this film crew in terms of why they’re staying in this hut for the night, is to shoot a porno that’ll truly revolutionize the art form within itself, as the director of the film RJ (Owen Campbell) wants to make it a more cinematic porno with an actual engaging plot line. Sure the film crew in it for a whole lot of fun… But what they didn’t know is there in for a whole lot of terror as well, as it turns out there is an evil presence amongst them in which they never thought would be an actual threat.
I would’ve had this review out sooner… But Jet Lag has been kicking my ass since I’ve gotten back from vacation. Which makes a whole lot of sense considering I was on three flights, restricted from breathing, while making two stops as well. Anyhow: X was an anticipated film of mine. Didn’t really know much about the plot other than it involved some kind of porn shoot, however the poster design was the selling point for me, as they looked pretty terrific.
If you like an old school slasher film such as Friday the 13th, Texas Chainsaw Massacre, or I would put this on par with Rob Zombie films in terms of goofy antagonists… X is gonna be for you, as I really had an enjoyable time with this one.
X has a well executed balance between horror and especially comedy. The horror aspect is effective in terms of violence and gore, there are some pretty sick death sequences that were handled pretty well as they were the most entertaining part of the film. But I also found the horror aspect effective in terms of settling in within a disturbing, weird, and creepy vibe. Once you discover whom the antagonists are, how they go about themselves, and even by the makeup design of these characters especially… They make you so uncomfortable in the best way possible. I won’t spoil anything: Sure you’ll be laughing while watching one character in particular, however that laughing can be justify by just feeling completely unsettled by just how messed up this scenario is as well.
The comedy aspect was very effective as the sense of humor was top notch, as I felt the film makers intentions were to make this a bit goofy. I mean once the conflict is introduced: I feel it’s extremely difficult to make this a serious narrative, so you had to be somewhat playful with it as I felt Ti West handled it extremely well, as there are many laugh out moments this film had to offer.
The cast and crew was solid as a whole, honestly everyone was pretty entertaining in this film as you can clearly tell everyone was having a fun time, while fitting the vibe of the 70’s as to being hip and groovy. I liked the Cinematography as well, especially how the film is shot during the film making of the porno sequences… Very authentic to the time period.
I feel there are a couple flaws to mention. Of course the film doesn’t feel completely original as it is paying homage to the classics, so predictably is likely to happen which it did at multiple times. Though the death sequences are well executed, however there is an issue in terms of pacing of the death sequences. Sometimes it’s hard to believe some of these characters would wait a long period of time, before they’re killed per say, I feel given the age of those whom are attacking the film crew… They could’ve easily avoid about half of them, given they’re much stronger and faster than the antagonists in the first place. Could the characters reacting slowly to getting killed or slowly murdering an individual add more fuel to the comedic aspect?! Possibly.
X is just a damn good time, I honestly wish I saw this with a crowd because this is definitely a crowd pleasing type of horror film, that’ll make everyone come together in joy of laughter… I mean we actually need that in times like these, especially when you lose one game out of an eight game parlay that prevented you from winning $1,500 on a $10 bet… P A I N.
Overall, X was dope! I recommend checking this one out, one of the better original slasher films we’ve gotten recently. -Mitch Smietana