By Abigail Mulonas
“X” is a thriller/slasher that goes back to the basics of the genre in some areas but not in others. Taking a quite odd and unjustifiable twist of a finale, the directorial tone from writer/director Ti West just didn’t give enough material with pizazz for any of it to stick.
Set in 1979, a group of actors set out to make an adult film in rural Texas under the noses of their reclusive hosts. But when the elderly couple catches their young guests in the act, they find themselves in a desperate fight for their lives.
The cast stars Mia Goth as Maxine, Jenny Ortega as Lorriane, Martin Henderson as Wayne, Brittany Snow as Bobby-Lynne, Kid Cudi as Jackson and Stephen Ure as Howard.
The presentation of the hidden horror agenda lets the audience know within the first few seconds that something is going to happen – you might not expect when or how – yet the journey of getting there is about to unfold.
And I give a nod to the elements that were visually presented in these moments, as there was an effortless vibe of feeling uneasy. The gripping pulse of the unknown was shown through various still shots, unique editing and creative angles to construct an antsy and edge of your seat vibe.
Yet, these are the only cinematic elements that are appreciable. Past these materialistic characteristics, this wasn’t necessarily the most enjoyable thing to watch, as “X” quickly and boringly fails to continue this unspoken intent.
About 30 minutes in is where this lost its hook on the audience. Instead of being resourceful, by applying all the mysterious and typical elements of the genre it utilized in the beginning, it decided to take a turn toward the overly unrealistic extravaganza of getting ahead of itself.
Taking time to develop a few (not all) characters to make them tangible, but still largely unknown, the boxes were lining up for this to pave the way toward a skillful unexpected ending, not a chaotic and inconsistent one.
The aftermath of having this load of different characters within a serious-toned slasher is that there is no room to connect to the characters and no satire to make fun of their situation – thus leading to an empty feeling during the climax from a disoriented viewer.
Instead, these last few moments were jam-packed, deaths were thrown out left and right (all unrelated to its wavering theme) and numerous, ongoing subplots took over the once definitive storytelling.
“X” might have started off strong with its cinematic elements, but with a script that does not suit its storytelling, it’s merely just a blah film. And what comes with this wholly forgettable film is yet another way-too-familiar and unimpressive product of today’s “horror” world that all seem to stack up into a countless pile.