In Theaters

X - Blu-ray Review

X (2022)

Intelligent horror. Yes, such a thing actually exists. Granted, that’s not always what the hordes of hungry horror fans looking to fulfill their bloodlust want from the genre, but for those who like their spilled blood and severed body parts served with a touch a class, do I have a film for you!

"one of the bloodiest, nastiest little slices of horror to come down the pike in quite some time"


 

Ti West’s (The Innkeepers) new slasher film from A24 called X is certainly one of the bloodiest, nastiest little slices of horror to come down the pike in quite some time. With a gritty grind house look and rich with gestures toward meaningful subtexts, X feels like something right out of the ‘70s or ‘80s.

And that’s certainly not by mistake. Having toiled in television over the last several years, West calls his return to horror a love letter to indie cinema. In fact, there’s a nice little film-within-a-film meta commentary going on in X about how horror and porn have always been considered the lowest of lowbrow art forms. But he flips that script by using those two elements in heavy doses to both reinforce that point and to shatter it by making a smart horror film about making a smart porno film. Certainly a risky maneuver, but with X he shows us that there is indeed something more to both of those types of entertainment.

The film opens with sheriff’s deputies investigating what appears to be a murder scene in a remote Texas farm house. We see blood-stained wooden floors and bodies covered with sheets strewn about the property.

The action then jumps to the previous 24 hours where we meet a group of young people who are looking to rent a house to film a porno movie titled The Farmer’s Daughter. We learn the year is 1979 and the surroundings remind us of those in The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, with wide shots of the wooden house with creaky screen doors barely visible above the waves of grass.

The Farmer’s Daughter’s cast consists of executive producer Wayne (Martin Henderson, Smokin’ Aces), his fame-hungry girlfriend Maxine (A wonderful Mia Goth, Suspiria), porn star Bobby-Lyne (Brittany Snow, Pitch Perfect), and Vietnam vet and porn actor Jackson (rapper Kid Cudi). Rounding out the crew are cameraman RJ (Owen Campbell, The Americans) and his sound tech/girlfriend Lorraine (Scream’s Jenna Ortega).X (2022)

The first half of X is made up of the story’s film crew getting it on with cameras rolling. Things take a harrowing turn, however, when the property’s elderly owners show up. Howard (Stephen Ure) and Pearl (I won’t spoil who plays her) are a miserable old couple who factor into the story in more ways than one.

As the generational clash begins to heat up, X goes full slasher. Characters are killed off one by one in some very creative – and unexpected – ways. This is where West really shines. He clearly knows how to create a genuine sense of dread as his focus is more on suspense and anticipation than it is on who will die next, or how they will die. As a result, West’s themes of growing old and regretting the things we didn’t do in our youth carry a much stronger weight.

Filmed during the pandemic in New Zealand (standing in for Texas), X displays s strong period texture thanks to West’s meticulous attention to detail and his creative use of ’70s music. One fabulously disturbing scene plays under Blue Oyster Cult’s Don’t Fear the Reaper. Yes, that sounds a bit too on the nose, but he somehow makes it work. Still gives me shivers. It’s the beautiful but disturbing little touches he shows rather than the in-your-face violence that make his X so effective.

Watch X and believe it. Porn and slasher horror can indeed be classy.

5/5 stars

X (2022)

 

Blu-ray Details

Blu-ray + DVD + Digital HD

Home Video Distributor: Lionsgate
Available on Blu-ray
- May 24, 2022
Screen Formats: 1.89:1
Subtitles
: English SDH, Spanish
Audio:
English: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1
Discs: Blu-ray Disc; Two-disc set; DVD copy
Region Encoding: Locked to Region A

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.

Video

X is presented in AVC encoded 1.90.1 1080p anamorphic widescreen. As expected, the Image quality is very strong, with plenty of detail to be seen in pretty much every single frame of this goopy slaughter-fest.  There is also a good amount of depth to the image as well, which brings to life the story in unexpected ways.   Black levels are crisp and deep, and colors are saturated.  The color palette is naturally well balanced with warm and rich hues. Contrast is excellent, with solid and deep blacks and revealing shadow delineation. Flesh tones are naturally cast.  The special effects and gore are quite rich and, especially when the kills start happening, the effects top notch.

Audio

The sound in this haunted spook house is provided via a sparkling English language 24-bit DTS-HD 5.1 track, which supports the dialogue and the soundscape well.

Supplements:

Commentary:

Special Features:

There are a few on this disc and none of them are interesting as you’d hope they’d be. That being said, The X Factor is the most interesting, mixing interviews in with its overview of the movie.

Blu-ray Rating

  Movie 5/5 stars
  Video  4/5 stars
  Audio 4/5 stars
  Extras 4/5 stars

Composite Blu-ray Grade

4/5 stars

 

Film Details

X (2022)

MPAA Rating: R for strong bloody violence and gore, strong sexual content, graphic nudity, drug use, and language.
Runtime:
105 mins
Director
: Ti West
Writer:
Ti West
Cast:
Mia Goth; Jenna Ortega; Brittany Snow
Genre
: Horror
Tagline:
Dying to Show You a Good Time.
Memorable Movie Quote: "We're gonna be rich...! Feel how hard my cock is."
Theatrical Distributor:
A24
Official Site: https://a24films.com/films/x
Release Date:
March 18, 2022
DVD/Blu-ray Release Date:

Synopsis: 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.

Art

X (2022)

 

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