SXSW 2022: X

In the late 70’s six people make a trip from a Houston strip club to the countryside. The group includes two dancers, their boyfriends, and two college kids. Wayne, the manager/boyfriend of Maxine, the red-haired dancer, is sure that if they make a low budget porn film, riches and Hollywood will naturally follow. He thinks the world of Maxine and is convinced she will be a star. Spunky blonde Bobby-Lynne and Jackson, her African American boy friend, along with Maxine, will be the actors, Wayne will write and direct, and the college couple, R.J. and Lorraine, will film the action. Lorraine seems pretty judgmental but wants to help R.J. who has artistic illusions about the film.

Wayne has arranged to rent an out building on a large dilapidated dairy farm from an elderly couple. The old man, Howard, warns Wayne that his wife Pearl must not be disturbed. As the filming begins it seems that someone is watching the group through windows.  The old couple seems strange, the man is belligerent and the woman seems to need help. As filming progresses, so does our sense of dread, then things get really bad.

This is a by the numbers horror flick that can’t help but please the viewer, with some nice twists at the end. With Mia Goth, Brittany Snow, and Martin Henderson, and directed by Ti West, who has considerable background in writing and directing horror, this film has something for everyone.  

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