X is a throwback to a different kind of horror movie. In the 1960s & 1970s, we got a flood of inexpensive, quick, bloody films like Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Last House on the Left, Don’t Look In The Basement, etc.

They were characterized by a quick setup of paper thin characters and a series of brutal murders. The good ones, like TCM, managed to infuse an extra sense of mystery and dread while the bad ones seemed more like a porno film, a series of threadbare situations meant to show off a kill shot.

Oddly enough, X is about a porno shoot at that TCM family’s farm. There’s a long setup which, weirdly, doesn’t add any depth to the characters, followed by some gratuitous sex scenes, before we dive into the series of killings.

Honestly, it tried my patience and provided very little payoff.

Some of it was so obvious it made me feel like the filmmaker thought I was stupid. But where the writing was often all text and no subtext, the editing, shot composition, and production values were all excellent. I look forward to what Ti West comes up with when he has a more robust script to work with.

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