The relationship between sex and violence is as old as time itself. Both drives are present within every human being and cinema has been a great medium when it comes to combining the symbiosis that exists between the two forces in a thousand different ways. Perhaps where this harmony is most visible is in horror films , a genre where this idea has gained special strength both to confirm it as Shakespeare stated that "Violent pleasures have violent endings" and to do something much more disruptive. Today's case is somewhat more particular in terms of its treatment of these drives. I'm talking about X (2022).
In 1979, a group of young people set out to make an adult film on a remote farm in Texas. But what seemed like a simple task soon becomes complicated when the owners of the farm, a lonely elderly couple, take it on them.
If with the synopsis the idea was not clear enough, with the first frame it is clear that one of the greatest influences of the film is none other than The Texas Chainsaw Massacre , from a similar setting in the most rural areas of the state, a similar time and an X-ray of the society of the moment. This last point was very present in Tobe Hooper 's filmand here again it is key to the development of the story, since it represents an interesting clash point between city people and rural people, the generational differences between the youngest and the elderly or the vital aspirations of one and the other, as well as the naturalness of following preachers through media such as television, topics that, although they took place several decades ago, are still valid today. But Ti West doesn't just capture Hooper 's style and storytelling on screen, but with the undeniable inspiration he manages to make a film that takes it to his field.
This means that the film , with a very moderate pace that is not slow, takes its time in outlining the characters, their personalities, their concerns and, ultimately, their way of seeing life. In this way, very varied reflections on sex and everything related to it are raised. The difference between male and female desire, to what extent it is a subject that is natural to talk about, where the level of contention lies and the limits of each one, whether adult cinema can have a certain artistic component or is simply morbid or if it is the sexual desire itself, it decreases with age. And the great positive point of the reflections is that they are not condescending to the viewer, but encourage them to also be part of this healthy debate.
But the approach is not just an excuse for Ti West to expand with ingenious dialogues, as he sows in small doses elements of suspense and terror through a soundtrack that fits like a glove in a diegetic and extradiegetic way to the main theme. as well as a millimetric and very intelligent montage when it comes to raising questions with some more than successful parallelisms, splitting of characters and sound enjambments. Later all those seeds will end up germinating. And boy, if they do it once, the knot has been reached, fully embracing a slasher as classic as it is enjoyable where there is no shortage of good blood portions, memorable deaths, more direct and indirect references to well-known movies .of horror like Psycho or The Shining and a face to face between sex and death that affirms and at the same time destroys the conceptions of the genre, especially of the slashers , that are held on these two drives that are basically indivisible.
And although in the group of young people who enter this isolated rural territory they are the archetypal of a slasher , all of them fulfill their roles with remarkable height, where two stand out in particular. Jenna Ortega , who after the last installment of Scream and now here becomes in her own right a scream queen to be taken into account for everything, and Mia Goth (another actress who moves like a fish in water in terror) as Maxine, a girl apparently calm but very sure of herself and her desires that turns out to be a whole box of surprises, so much so that she deserves to stay until the credits and check where her name appears.
In short, it is a slasher that pays homage to classics but has enough personality and bad drool to achieve a very contemporary and wonderfully executed result.