MOVIESPOP CULTUREUncategorizedX: The Best Slasher In Years

X came out of nowhere. While I’ve been familiar with director Ti West, I didn’t realize that his new movie was coming out until a week after the trailer dropped. Though a surprise, this movie left me extremely happy. X is not only the best movie of the year so far, but it’s also the best slasher film that I’ve seen in years.  The Good  Strictly speaking, there isn’t anything that special about the story....
Aaron Vaughn2 months ago857 min
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X came out of nowhere. While I’ve been familiar with director Ti West, I didn’t realize that his new movie was coming out until a week after the trailer dropped. Though a surprise, this movie left me extremely happy. X is not only the best movie of the year so far, but it’s also the best slasher film that I’ve seen in years. 

The Good 

Strictly speaking, there isn’t anything that special about the story. The element of the main characters shooting porn is probably the most original aspect that X has to offer. Other than that, conceptually this is a pretty by-the-book horror story. But this is the point, this is a movie that loves to work in the familiar. The movie consistently throws out scenarios that we have seen before and continues to play them out as expected. But they are really well done and do little things that can be surprising. Without spoilers, a way that the film threw me off was its approach to sex in horror conventions. Classic horror would punish characters for their sexuality. But what’s here is that while the characters die of sexual promiscuity it has more to do with jealousy than punishment. 

The performances and characterization in this movie are top-notch. We don’t get much in terms of backstory beyond subtle hints for specific characters. It’s the chemistry between actors and characters that gets you to care about most of the cast. Even the nastier characters have elements that make them worth caring about. Mia Goth will probably receive the most attention due to the nature of her role, but I do think this does a disservice to how all the other actors work together. Brittany Snow has entertaining performance that is actually more compelling outside of the erotic scenes. Jenna Ortega has an interesting spin on the innocent archetype from classic horror. Without a doubt, the most dynamic actor here is Scott Mescudi (also known as Kid Cudi). His character has the least impact on the plot, but the way he plays off of the rest of the cast is incredible. You enjoy seeing this character in the scene because of charisma. It’s a perfect cast.

The filmmaking here is fantastic. The framing by cinematographer Elliot Rockett captures the film’s horrific but also sometimes dry comedy perfectly. Practical gore effects are perfectly implemented into the movie. Not only is the blood and guts very well done, but the implication of character makeup (especially for the elderly characters) is perfectly done. Ti West’s directing abilities are perfectly showcased here with a creepy and enjoyably campy tone. West’s editing with co-editor David Kashevaroff perfectly paces out the horror and builds some terrifying tension. The music that plays over everything also adds to the rising tension. All in all, this is expertly built horror that will delight genre fans. 

The Bad 

I’ve got nothing bad to say. I really don’t. This movie was an absolute delight. Sure, the extreme violence won’t be for everyone; but this is a movie clearly meant for horror genre fans. To complain about that would be like complaining that a feel-good movie is too happy. 

Conclusion

I don’t think that I’ve been this happy with a slasher movie since the first time that I’ve watched Scream. This is a love letter to horror genre fans and has me bursting with the excitement of what’s next for Ti West and the X series. X is a must-see. 

Aaron Vaughn

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