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"X" Reviews/Discussion - 2022 Horror Challenge

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"X" Reviews/Discussion - 2022 Horror Challenge

Old 09-26-22, 09:55 PM
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"X" Reviews/Discussion - 2022 Horror Challenge

X (2022)

Selected by hbsvb

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These "October Horror Movie Challenge" threads are for the discussion of the films in the 31 FILM SUBSET list.

The plan is for everyone to watch this film on the October day in the thread title, and to start discussing it the morning of the following day.
You may start discussion early if you want, but the preferred plan is for this to be as much of a group exercise as possible, with all of us viewing it "together" and discussing after.

Of course, you are totally encouraged to participate in these threads even if you haven't watched the movie on the designated day.
Even if you haven't watched it in years, or are not participating in the Horror Challenge, please feel free to chime in.

Spoiler tags aren't always used in here, so if you have yet to see the film BEWARE OF POSSIBLE SPOILERS.







Last edited by Chad; 09-26-22 at 10:29 PM.
Old 10-09-22, 04:49 PM
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Re: "X" Reviews/Discussion - 2022 Horror Challenge

This was my second time watching, and I think I liked it more this time. The setting is great. I'd say it was basically one of the characters. I guess a lot of that credit goes to Ti West for using it so effectively. He has always been a very stylish filmmaker, and it's great to have him back making horror films.

This was also my first time watching this after seeing Pearl. The two are very different movies, so if you didn't like X, I would still encourage you to give Pearl a try. I personally think Pearl is a much richer film, both visually and the characters. Strangely, I'm not sure if Pearl really gave the character in X any more resonance. If anything, it just gives me more questions about what happened between Pearl and X. Maybe we'll get glimpses of the past in MaXXXine. Either way, I'm looking forward to seeing where the series goes.
Old 10-14-22, 02:28 AM
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Re: "X" Reviews/Discussion - 2022 Horror Challenge

I think X has a lot of depth and probably the sort of film that deserves to get more thought; Im interested to see how Pearl and Maxxxine develop the themes/subtext.

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre homages have got to be intentional and X works best as a winking reference exploring taboos of sex and possessiveness with a framework of what has historically been taboo in horror.

Some of the characters are so one dinemsional its cartoonish and distracting. The more subdued camera man's girlfriend stands out because she is not aggressively obnoxious. Mia Goth gives an amazing performance but still Maxine is so vapid and works best as a compliment to Pearl rather than standalone (Maxine has the fewest lines). At times X struggles with balancing dark humor and thrills.

The mirroring of Maxine and Pearl is handled well but the old couple is so odd it both makes the film but also undermines it by over exaggerating a thin implausible premise (of sexual repression?). I like that there's no traditional 'bad guy'/learherface but just one horny seeming old lady and her overly controlling partner. Some of the 'old people' makeup is so off looking it comes across as comedic; but I cant tell if thats intentional. The scene of Maxine dipping her feet into the lake before skinny dipping and being chased by an alligator is brilliant thematic foreshadowing.

Last edited by Undeadcow; 10-14-22 at 02:56 AM.
Old 10-22-22, 06:12 PM
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Re: "X" Reviews/Discussion - 2022 Horror Challenge

My second watch of this. I gave it 4/5 the first time because some of the plot moves were just so bizarre and startling (in a good/refreshing way). The horny old lady throughout, and then she and her heart-challenged hubs having sex on the bed. Talk about Hagsploitation! I couldn't believe they'd go there.

The second time around I knew about that stuff so those scenes were honestly just more icky. Still a good watch though. I like the 70's porn vibe and appreciate that they didn't softcore anything in this film--neither the sex nor the violence. No fade to black or 'hear-it-from-another-room' here. Still a solid 4/5 stars for being unique and ballsy. Good acting, good production all thew way around. I haven't seen Pearl, but I'm looking forward to it.
Old 10-23-22, 09:17 AM
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Re: "X" Reviews/Discussion - 2022 Horror Challenge

This was my first watch since I haven’t been too high on TI West. This was good though. Loved the TCM references and I was kind of surprised to see this was filmed in New Zeeland.
I plan on checking out the prequel and sequel to see where this story goes.
Old 10-24-22, 10:51 AM
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Re: "X" Reviews/Discussion - 2022 Horror Challenge

First time view. I decided to hold off watching this when it came out because I had a feeling we may have a theme night viewing during the challenge. Setting and atmosphere were really fantastic here. I felt like I was transported back to 1979, with the music being the highlight. I had expectations early on that got completely dashed as the movie progressed. Noticed the guy hanging in the cellar was 'Missing' on the carton of milk the dude was drinking from. Very effective movie!

I assume this wasn't the first rodeo for the elderly couple.

Old 10-26-22, 11:23 AM
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Re: "X" Reviews/Discussion - 2022 Horror Challenge

Ti West films are a mixed bag for me, but I really enjoyed this gritty, nasty horror film. It had throwbacks to the 70s and particularly TCM that really worked. Well acted and gruesome. The obligatory jump scares are here and of course they dont work, but that aside, I liked the film.
Old 10-26-22, 12:34 PM
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Re: "X" Reviews/Discussion - 2022 Horror Challenge

I intentionally try to keep myself as much in the dark about movies I know I'm going to see (and a new Ti West movie certainly qualifies for me). Hard to believe it's been almost 10 years since his last horror movie (The Sacrament).

I felt like an idiot that I didn't realize Mia Goth played a double role until the end credits In retrospect I should've noticed it was her in the old pictures of Pearl. And Pearl's makeup was so freakish that it didn't seem like an actual old person.
Old 10-26-22, 03:18 PM
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Re: "X" Reviews/Discussion - 2022 Horror Challenge

Not being a fan of Ti West (I have always found him to be overrated), I went in with low expectations but found myself enjoying the movie pretty early on.

The farm location was great and really seemed to look and feel like the '70s. I didn't find any of the characters overly annoying like so many can be in movies like this. The slow burn of the film was still a decent pace and not too slow to where it becomes dull (I am looking at you "The Innkeepers").

But for Christ's sake...hire some damn "real" creepy old people already! Why Hollywood always seems to insist on hiring younger actors for old people parts is beyond me. Especially when you bury them in so much make-up (a lot of it fake looking) that it shouldn't matter anyway. There wasn't any major physicality needed in Pearl or Howard's roles, so just hire a damn good older actor. So annoying. And yeah...you could argue he wanted Mia Goth in the Pearl role but that was simply solved by the picture shown in the house. They still could have used an older woman.

Some nice eerie parts in this but I thought what really shined was the sound effects-type score. With the weird voices, sounds, tones, etc. mixed with sparse and uncomfortable music really gave the movie the atmosphere it needed.

And I believe my eyes are now partially burned out due to the sex scene with the old people. Gotta say that as much as I hated the overly fake "old person" make-up, the old woman was one of the creepiest stereotypical geriatrics in movies like this.

The guy stepping on the nail caused me the most mental pain. Perfect set up and good effects on that. The girl getting her hand hammered was a great effect too and made me cringe. Funny how watching someone get their throat slashed or a pitchfork through the eyeballs doesn't faze me but little injuries like that affect me more.

I also liked that all the kids in the movie are the nicest they can be to the old people, even as creepy as they are. This is more realistic to me than when teens or young adults are complete assholes to elders in movies. Please it makes you feel actually bad for them when they find their demise. I knew Kid Cudi's death was coming but it still kinda surprised me because he was just so nice to the old man. It still made me think the old man would maybe have some mercy. Oh well.

So even though most horror watchers have seen all this before, it was still a well-made movie worth watching.

My rating: ***1/2 out of *****
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Undeadcow (10-26-22)
Old 10-26-22, 05:29 PM
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Re: "X" Reviews/Discussion - 2022 Horror Challenge

Originally Posted by brainee
I felt like an idiot that I didn't realize Mia Goth played a double role until the end credits In retrospect I should've noticed it was her in the old pictures of Pearl. And Pearl's makeup was so freakish that it didn't seem like an actual old person.
I knew Pearl was a younger actor in makeup but I didn't know the double role until the end as well. I did see The Texas Chainsaw Massacre influence particularly with the dead cattle in the road scene.

I questioned the logic of hacking through the panel furthest from the door knob to escape but then again...

"Let's hide behind the chainsaws!"

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