We are almost at the weekend and it would bring with it some fresh new releases. But before that I thought of squeezing in a film from the classic slasher genre. It was in the 70s and 80s where some of the greatest films were made in the slasher genre. But things started getting repetitive as the eras progressed so much so that they began feeling like mindless comedies instead of an element of horror. Even the recently released Texas Saw Massacre which was out on Netflix recently, met with a lot of criticism. One of the main culprits in the genre is the trajectory which certain films are guilty of following. But such is the genre that any deviation from it might change the end product in a totally different manner. Hence, it is a catch 22 for makers attempting films in this genre. That said, I was hearing many great things about the new slasher film in town titled X with some people calling it a proper homage to the films from the 70s. And I decided to go for it last night. So then does X manage to impress, lets find out.
Story & Screenplay
X follows the story of a bunch of people visiting a farm owned by an elderly couple to shoot an adult film until each one of them is hunted down one by one. The setup is perfect for a classic slasher fest. But the screenplay is where its impact was magnified. The typical essence of the story is its modern take on the psycho-biddy genre which means a film having multiple genres. So the screenplay invests a fair amount of time in introducing you to the characters and the setting of the farm. All of this perfectly adds to the ambience of the horror drama, something that instantly makes you uncomfortable. You can sense that there is something not quite right. The tension is nicely built up across various erotic scenes which are part of the film shot on the farm. This typically does give you vibes of the 1970s with the grainy picturization as an added plus.
All hell breaks loose in the second hour where each of them start getting murdered in the most gruesome and gory manner. So much so that you begin to enjoy the killings and there is a sense of fear associated with them. The drama instantly picks up pace with rich dividence being paid for the buildup in the first hour. This culminates into a satisfying final act which was equally gruesome with a tinge of dark humour. In other words, I wad very impressed with the screenplay which punched above my expectations.
Dialogues, Music & Direction
The dialogues are adequate here. The music is good and the BGM is even better. I loved the way they used the BGM to evoke some superb jump scares out of nowhere. The cinematography is the unsung hero of the film with uncomfortable closeups used during the killing shots that sends a shiver down your spine. Director Ti West does a stupendous job in formulated a modern take on the classic A24 slasher film. His direction is top notch.
The performances are quite noteworthy. Owen Campbell as RJ and Kid Cudi as Jackson have their moments to shine. Stephen Ure as Howard is terrifyingly brilliant. Jenna Ortega as Lorraine and Brittany Snow as Bobby are first rate. Martin Henderson as Wayne was a welcome addition to the film. But the show belongs to Mia Goth who is brilliant and Maxine and ever more intimidating as Pearl. The latter role which she reprises will send a shiver down your spine while you will be shocked.
X is a film which provides a proper homage to the classic slasher genre. Highly Recommended!