Film Review: “X”


Screengrab from: "X"

“X” was released on Mar. 18, 2022 and stars Jenna Ortega, Mia Goth, Brittany Snow, and Kid Cudi. The film is a horror/slasher that features adult actors attempting to film an adult film.

Sophia Sailer, Editor-in-Chief

“X” opens up exactly how “Pearl” ended, but 60 years later. A bunch of corpses laying around presumably by the title character, Pearl. But this time, two things are noticeably different. This time, one, the police are actually involved and are investigating the murders, and two, there are way too many corpses for it to be the same murder that we witnessed at the end of the last movie.

Ti West, director of “Pearl” and “X”, made these two movies to come out in the same year, with “Pearl” acting as the prequel to “X”. The main character in “Pearl”, who is in her 20s during the Spanish Flu in the 1920s, flashes forward to her 80s in 1979.

“X” is a film about six people creating a porn film, going to a house that they rented, possibly via a newspaper (kind of like Airbnb today), where they are staying and shooting in the guest house of Pearl and Howard.

Things go awry as Pearl is fixated on Maxine’s character and as Pearl comes to terms with the lack of sexual intercourse that she is able to have with her husband. This is also foreshadowed in “Pearl” when Pearl cheats on her husband when she is unable to have sex with him. Pearl and her husband murder the group because of their supposed Christian values.

Mia Goth, who plays Pearl in “Pearl”, also plays another main character in “X”, but not the same character she played before. Goth now plays “Maxine Minx” who has extremely parallel characteristics to Pearl, which becomes a theme in the film, as even 80-year-old Pearl finds Maxine to be similar to herself.

I was concerned on how I would see Goth as a different character in this franchise other than Pearl, but I think the film was extremely smart to create her character the way that they did. Maxine’s mannerisms, voice, and obviously face, is the exact same to Pearl’s. Maxine even says the exact same line as Pearl does in the movie “Pearl”, exclaiming “I’m a star!”

This similarity is the entire basis of the movie, as Pearl becomes increasingly more jealous of Maxine, which becomes the basis for the murders. Even at the end of the movie, Maxine leaves Lorraine to die even though she hears her suffering in the basement, making the audience wonder if Maxine is the second version of Pearl.

Along with Mia Goth, we have cast members such as Brittany Snow (who plays Bobby-Lynne) one main character in the film, having been in many popular films such as “John Tucker Must Die”, “Pitch Perfect”, and many more. Kid Cudi (who plays Jackson) as well plays a big role in the film, doing a great job even if acting is not what he is known for.

Jenna Ortega, who plays the initially small role of Lorraine in the film, has an impressive acting repertoire thus far. Being in shows such as “Jane the Virgin” and will be playing as Wednesday Addams in Tim Burton’s upcoming series “Wednesday”. Ortega gives the most outstanding performance in the film. She creates an extremely rounded character that, aside from the eventual murders that happen, comes to understand her sexuality in a very interesting way.

I loved every scene where they are shooting the porno. We watch as Lorraine goes from disgust to intrigue to fascination from what she sees before her. Lorraine eventually asks her boyfriend for permission to join the film. In response, he disapproves and storms off despite criticizing Lorraine the entire time for being a prude.

Lorraine eventually does end up acting in a scene in the film, and she becomes extremely empowered from the experience. Unfortunately, the film does turn into a thriller/horror film as her boyfriend becomes the first victim of Pearl’s revenge.

I really enjoyed watching these two movies consecutively, and I actually do recommend watching “Pearl” before “X” as you get to see the history leading up to some of the details in the film. Overall, “X” is a great thriller that will intrigue and entertain.