Director : Ti West
Platform : Amazon Prime
I am constantly searching for good slasher movies.
Lately, I have seen a couple of them, but they were far from good. They were mediocre.
And the main issue with most mediocre slashers is not the kills (it rarely has been the kills). But the problem is the absence of interesting characters and a plot that immediately absorbs us into the gory world. If we don’t care about the characters, how are we supposed to root for them for not getting killed?
Thus stepping into A24’s X, I hoped it took care of the above mistakes.
X has beautiful cinematography complemented by the use of 1980s video filters, giving it a good vintage summer look. There are ample scenes filled with silence. The rustling of trees and water rippling sounds are muted, which is a clever way to elevate the tension.
The editing and writing are stellar too. There are sequences where the storyline of the actual movie and the adult film get intertwined in an unsettling manner.
But a word of caution: the brutal killings don’t start until the midpoint. So, don’t expect it to begin instantly like Ready or Not and You’re Next. Still, on a positive note intensity of the kills increases to a certain degree by the end.
Hence, the majority of the movie comprises the psychological horror aspect. Firstly, the remote location and the creepy old cabin owners cause adequate discomfort. Soon apprehension arises when we (along with one of the characters) realise that the film’s producer did not take permission to shoot the adult film. What would the old cabin owner do if he realises that this group is making an adult movie?
Every character in X has something different to present. And why not, their distinct job roles allow them to do so. One of the adult film stars wants to chase her American dream. The film school director treats this not-so-deserving job as an opportunity to work on his art. And the director’s assistant (played by Jenna Ortega) is surprised when she learns the director dragged her into the project. She’s also the one who introduces all sorts of conflicts in the story, escalating the movie’s emotions.
X will appeal to horror fans who enjoy a character-driven plot and psychological horror about aging. The film did impact me a bit more because before this I watched ‘Old People’ which somewhat reinforced the horrors of X.
Need some horror movie recommendations ?
- Best Recent Slasher Movies: Flooded with blood and bodies
- Best Stalker Movies: From Obsessive babysitters to dangerous Serial Killers
An Indian reviewer who writes about horror and thriller movies/series. If not movies, he likes to pick up a mystery book to read. Some of his favourite movies/series include Stranger Things, Elite (S1-3), Train to Busan, Andhadhun, Strangers: Prey at Night.