X (2022)
March 19, 2022 6:34 AM - Subscribe

In 1979, a group of young filmmakers set out to make an adult film in rural Texas, but when their reclusive, elderly hosts catch them in the act, the cast find themselves fighting for their lives.

A new horror film playing in theaters from Ti West (The Innkeepers, House of the Devil).
posted by DirtyOldTown (9 comments total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
New Chekhov's Gun just dropped: Chekhov's Unloaded Gun. Someone is going to have to pull this on someone. That person is likely to think they're in trouble. The situation is likely to get weird when it turns out there are no bullets.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 11:16 AM on March 19, 2022 [3 favorites]

This is awesome. I'll let more people see it before I dig in deep. But for now, this absolutely hit all of the marks of a great slasher in an original way without going post/meta. West's slow build first half style is even more interesting with porn as the setting.

So much to say about sex and personal empowerment. Wow.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 12:28 PM on March 19, 2022 [1 favorite]

I knew going in that this was going to have something to say about the parallelisms between '70s porn and grindhouse-style horror, but I didn't expect Ti West to basically give us a master's-level thesis on the subject.

It took me most of the film to realize what was happening with the casting on a particular role, and when I realized the conceptual parallels with another recent horror film starring Mia Goth, I had to silently clap my hands in appreciation.

I'm also extremely excited about the implications of the post-credits sequence (phone-cam video link), especially with regard to West's stated appreciation of Nobuhiko Obayashi's HOUSE (aka HAUSU).
posted by Strange Interlude at 2:03 PM on March 22, 2022 [2 favorites]

I really liked this! One nice thing about Ti West is that he's obviously a devotee of the genre, so when stuff like this happens you know it's on purpose:

- A woman breaks out of a door with an axe, neatly reversing the iconic scene from The Shining
- The nebbish director is a fan of Psycho; when he meets his untimely demise later in the movie, we see the same "knife goes up" shot from the shower scene
- The only character to take drugs is the one who survives, in opposition to the usual slasher tropes
- Early on, the director drops a comment about how they'll use some high-brow editing to cover up how low-budget the movie is

I might be stretching, but I'm also pretty sure the scene where Jackson drinks milk from the fridge is a reference to The 400 Blows (though if it is, I'm not sure what West is getting at).

All of that is without even getting into all the thematic stuff about sex and voyeurism and youth and exploitation, but there's a lot to think about there, too. One thing that stayed with me is the symmetry between the woman looking into the barn while they're shooting, and the executive producer peering out of the barn just before he gets it.
posted by whir at 9:25 PM on April 14, 2022 [3 favorites]

I just watched this movie again last night and it's just so beautifully set up. There's the fact that the obvious frailty of the old couple and ability of the porn cast (including a vietnam vet) are really emphasized. The killers aren't at all gifted with super strength or ability and their victims are younger, more able bodied, AND out number their attackers. And yet they manage to absolutely decimate the cast.

There are so many beautiful set ups and pay offs: the alligator, the gun, the heart attack, the preacher, and the broken hip just to name a few. It's just a really beautifully crafted film.
posted by miss-lapin at 4:30 PM on May 13, 2022

I'm trying to remember what (French?) film I saw that did scene transitions like that, where it would cut back-and-forth between two shots.
posted by RobotHero at 8:19 PM on March 4, 2023

I liked Innkeepers and House of the Devil, but this feels more like a real movie. It's a competent, decent, complete slasher film.

I like that none of the porno peeps are overdone with loathsome jerkiness and the judgment angle is not played very hard, and the old couple are not exactly teleporting super-ninja. (Just perhaps in league with alligators.)
posted by fleacircus at 11:21 PM on October 25, 2023 [1 favorite]

Is this movie extremely male gaze-y? I’m not sure, but the cinematographer definitely dies first.
posted by thecaddy at 8:32 PM on October 29, 2023 [1 favorite]

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