X is an American horror film realized in the slasher subgenre, which is entirely signed by the New Zealand filmmaker Ty West. It premiered on March 13 at the South by Southwest festival in Austin, while A24 was in charge of cinema distribution. A prequel to this film called Pearl, which is currently in post-production, was shot in parallel.
The plot is set in 1979 and follows a film crew that headed from Houston to a farm in rural Texas to make an avant-garde porn film. The team consists of two strippers Maxine and Bobby Lynn, dark-skinned Vietnamese veteran Jackson, club owner and film producer Wayne, a student who will be the director and his girlfriend who is in charge of the tone. Wayne’s plan is not too elaborate – it comes down to filming porn that will somehow bring them fame and popularity. The farm belongs to an elderly couple, and the newcomers realize during the night that they are not safe and that they are the target of their hosts.
Staying on a rural farm with inhospitable hosts is a horrible idea if you are a horror character, but these characters have no reason to worry because, from their perspective, they are not in a horror movie. Unlike them, in the very introduction we get the outcome of their knowledge that they are still in horror – a brutal and bloody mess. Their arrival on the farm means that it is only a matter of time before the killings begin, and as far as we know, these characters have no slight connection. That sense of dramatic irony gives us a lot of uncertainty while we wait for the inevitable, and we will unconsciously try to solve the mystery of how the crime scene ended that way while watching the crimes themselves unfold.
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