2. “X” (2022)
“X” is a new horror classic. Independent horror filmmaker Ti West, who previously directed films like ‘The Innkeepers’ and ‘The House of the Devil’, is returning to horror cinema after a stint on episodic television (and before that a poorly received western but still underrated), significantly upping his game in the process. The results are truly breathtaking. “X” follows a group of eccentric pornographers (among them: Mia Goth, Brittany Snow, Kid Cudi and Martin Henderson) who rent a barn in Texas from an elderly evangelical couple to make a dirty movie called “The Farmer’s Daughter “. Soon they are chosen, one by one, like a classic slasher movie. What makes “X” different, and what gives it an added dimension that borders on poignant, is that the killers are themselves the elderly evangelical couple (Goth also plays the old woman, Pearl). What could have been a great exploitation movie, riffing on West’s favorite 1970s films (and not just horror movies either) becomes something much more. Not only do you understand Pearl’s motivations, her frustration with her body failing her as her mind continues to race, but you might even root for her. It’s an awkward position to put an audience on, especially one that demands to be thrilled by all the bloody, naked bodies (both of which are plenty).
What’s even better is that A24, sensing the potential for a new horror franchise, has allowed West to secretly shoot a prequel film, called “Pearl” and set during World War I, which will be released. soon (our bet is Halloween 2022). Honestly, a whole fleet of films would be welcome, the world of “X” is so rich.