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X Reviews Are Online, Read What Critics Are Saying About The Porn-Centric Slasher Movie

Ti West is finally back with another horror movie after a decade of other projects. His new film, X, features what sounds like a formulaic setup for a throwback ‘70s horror flick: A film crew drives out to a remote Texas farmhouse to shoot a porn while trying not to raise suspicions of their elderly hosts. It’s probably safe to say there will be sex and there will be blood. X premiered March 13 at the SXSW Film Festival, and the reviews are in. What are critics saying about West’s latest project?

The movie Mia Goth, Brittany Snow and Scott Mescudi (aka Kid Cudi) as the adult film stars, Martin Henderson as manager Wayne, and Jenna Ortega and Owen Campbell as the film crew. X clocks in at just 105 minutes, so let’s see how much horror the critics are saying Ti West was able to pack into that run time, starting with our own CinemaBlend review. Mike Reyes rates the slasher 4 out of 5 stars, saying writer/director Ti West has put together a slow burn that sets the stakes for each character before a satisfying payoff: 

By taking his time to get to ‘the good stuff,’ West turns the entire movie into ‘the best stuff,’ as the stakes that are set in motion pay off one after the other. When horror fans get to the blood and guts of X, they’ll be even happier that they got to know the score before playing ball, as the finished package is all the more satisfying because of that strategy.

Owen Gleiberman of Variety says X succeeds where many movies trying to emulate The Texas Chain Saw Massacre fail. It’s not just a cheap imitation, however. This review says X is a deliberate tribute with “genuine mood and skill and flavor”:

‘X’ is a wily and entertaining slow-motion ride of terror that earns its shocks, along with its singular quease factor, which relates to the fact that the demons here are ancient specimens of humanity who actually have a touch of…humanity. West, as a filmmaker, reverses tropes in a way that speaks to the era that was coming.

David Crow of Den of Geek agrees with the other reviews that this ode to  an era of horror succeeds in keeping audiences uncomfortable by withholding its most horrible images until the audience least expects them: 

The film, which just had its world premiere at the SXSW Film Festival, certainly dabbles in exploitation, happily indulging every lusty 16mm square frame we see of the movie within the movie, but to write it off as merely those baser elements would miss the more intriguing ideas in its first two (superior) acts. Essentially posited on the conceit of “Debbie Does Dallas… and then has an existential crisis about her own mortality,” X is an intentionally jarring experiment that mashes up tones and styles. While it doesn’t always pay off, the exercise yields curious results.

Patrick Cavanaugh of ComicBook.com rates X a perfect 5 out of 5, commending Ti West on his return to horror movies with one of the best horror films of the year and arguably West’s best project to date:

While the film assuredly tackles heady themes like mortality and aging, it still offers some unsettling and traditional horror imagery. Though, keeping in tradition with West's track record, it takes a full hour before anything overtly violent takes place. This allows audiences to truly connect with these characters and invest in whether they could really get this film made, only to then be reminded that, for as unconventional as it might be, it's still definitively a horror movie.

Meagan Navarro of Bloody Disgusting rates it 4.5 skulls out of 5, saying Ti West’s deceptively simple setup gives way to a go-for-broke horror-comedy that leaves you breathless, both from laughter and nail-biting tension. And what about the kills?

X is a crowd-pleasing doozy when it comes to brutal bloodletting and kills. Some deaths leave you queasy, and some will leave you cackling with glee. All of it is immensely satisfying.

The critics seem to agree on X being a tense, bloody and masterfully done tribute to slasher horror. If you’re a fan of the genre, you can catch X in theaters starting Friday, March 18, and be sure to check out our 2022 Movie Release Schedule to see what other movies are coming soon.

Mom of two and hard-core '90s kid. Unprovoked, will quote Friends in any situation. Can usually be found rewatching The West Wing instead of doing anything productive.