X is a 2022 slasher film written, directed, produced, and edited by Ti West. The main characters include Mia Goth, Jenna Ortega, Martin Henderson, Brittany Snow, Owen Campbell, Stephen Ure, and Scott Mescudi.
Plot-wise, the movie follows a cast and crew that assemble in rural Texas to create a pornographic film but are forced to flee when they become the target of a murderer.
X was filmed in New Zealand, with production mostly at Fordell. Its music was written by Tyler Bates and Chelsea Wolfe.
The film had its global premiere at South by Southwest SXSW on March 13, 2022, and was theatrically released in the United States on March 18, 2022, by A24.
It got generally excellent reviews, with critics appreciating its homages to 20th-century slasher films particularly 1974’s The Texas Chain Saw Massacre and the performances of Goth, Snow, and Ortega.
In 1979, Maxine Minx and her lover Wayne, the producer, meet up with actors Bobby-Lynne and Jackson Hole, the director RJ, and RJ’s girlfriend Lorraine to travel across Texas and film an adult film for the burgeoning theatrical pornography market.
While Lorraine is underwhelmed by the movie and RJ’s attempts to make it appear like a serious cinematic piece, a relationship blossoms between Bobby-Lynne and Jackson.
The party arrives at the farm of Howard and Pearl, an old couple in whose guest home the group hopes to shoot the film, The Farmer’s Daughters.
Pearl silently follows Maxine about while a fiery Howard threatens the group with a shotgun.
As filming commences without Howard’s knowledge, Maxine is invited inside the couple’s home by Pearl, where they have a talk.
Pearl laments her age, displays jealousy for Maxine’s youth, and makes a sexual advance toward her.
She later becomes horny while seeing Maxine and Jackson make out. Pearl begs Howard to have sex with her, but he declines, saying his heart is too weak.
Now that it’s nighttime, the film crew can kick back in the farmhouse where they shot several of their scenes.
Lorraine, interested in the film and eager to shed her reputation as a prude, requests to be a part of the production, much to RJ’s chagrin.
RJ eventually agrees to film a scene with Lorraine and Jackson, but only after he has a complete breakdown in the shower over her betrayal and the destruction of the script and film he had so much faith in.
While the others are asleep, RJ tries to escape but is stopped by Pearl, who wants to seduce him. When he rejects her, she stabs him to death.
When Lorraine and Wayne realize RJ is missing, they set out to find him. At the barn, Pearl murders Wayne with a pitchfork.
Howard invites Lorraine into the house, saying that Pearl has gone missing. He then asks Lorraine to get a flashlight from the basement.
After finding the decaying body of a missing guy, Lorraine tries to escape but is unable to open the door.
At the guesthouse, Howard approaches Jackson and requests assistance in finding Pearl. Before Howard shoots him dead, Jackson pulls a car out of a pond, indicating Howard’s complicity in Pearl’s violence.
But in the meantime, Pearl has entered the guesthouse and climbed up onto Maxine‘s bed. Maxine awakens and cries, with Bobby-Lynne observing Pearl exiting the house.
Lorraine tries to use a hatchet to cut through a panel in the basement door of the farmhouse, but Howard bludgeons her, shattering her finger, and pushes her back inside.
When Pearl wanders outside, Bobby-Lynne follows her to the neighboring lake and attempts to keep her out of it. To prove her point, Pearl yells at Bobby-Lynne and pushes her into the water, where an alligator quickly devours her.
Maxine, upon witnessing Pearl and Howard’s return to the guesthouse, immediately takes refuge under the bed. Before getting intimate, the elderly couple talks about the murders.
Maxine manages to flee to the van, where she finds RJ’s corpse and the keys missing. Armed with a revolver from the glovebox, Maxine enters the farmhouse and frees Lorraine, who bitterly blames Maxine for what has happened.
In a state of terror, Lorraine bolts out the front door, where she is fatally shot by Howard. In an effort to frame the crew as intruders, Howard and Pearl begin moving the bodies when Howard is startled by a dying Lorraine and has a fatal heart attack.
Maxine gets the truck keys from Howard and Pearl and aims at Pearl, only to realize her gun is empty.
While attempting to shoot Maxine, Pearl misses and is blasted out of the house by the force of the shotgun; upon impact with the earth, Pearl breaks her hip.
As Pearl lies hurt outside, she begs Maxine for help. Maxine refuses and as Pearl berates her, Maxine runs her over with the vehicle, crushing Pearl’s head.
Maxine leaves the farm in her car and drives off. The cops come to the residence the following morning to remove the dead.
It is revealed that Maxine is the daughter of a conservative Christian preacher, whose talks were regularly playing on Pearl and Howard’s television. When the cops find RJ’s camera, they can’t help but wonder what’s inside.
While hiding under the bed, Maxine spots Pearl and Howard returning to the guesthouse. Pearl explains her fascination with Maxine by saying that she, too, was once unique and remarkable.
The pair soon enjoys intercourse, but Maxine manages to slip out from beneath the bed and flee to the van.
She finds RJ’s body, along with a missing set of keys and Wayne’s revolver in the glove compartment.
She equips herself with it and retraces her steps towards the basement, liberating Lorraine. Lorraine, who blames Maxine for all that has transpired, becomes upset and runs to the front door, where she plans to escape, only to be shot by Howard.
The old couple tries to transfer the bodies so that it looks like a home invasion, but Howard had a heart attack when he hears Lorraine, who is nearly dead, gurgle blood.
As Howard leans against the wall and falls to the ground, Maxine tries to get the keys to the van and threatens to shoot Pearl, only to discover that it is empty of bullets.
Pearl, in a fit of wrath, tries to shoot Maxine with a shotgun, but she misses and is thrown through the door by the recoil, breaking her hip in the process.
Pearl begs Maxine to aid her while she lies on the ground, but Maxine refuses and, after hearing Pearl’s reprimand, drives the vehicle through her, smashing her head.
The next day, the cops are still perplexed as she drives away from the crime scene.
Maxine, the evangelist’s daughter and one of the deviants and sex-fiends he is launching his campaign against, is revealed to be one of them in the evangelist’s speech, which has been airing on television since last night.
The police can’t figure out what happened, and all they find of significance is RJ’s camera, leading them to wonder what kind of horrors it might have captured.