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Why ‘X’ is the best modern slasher film to buy on DVD!

01 Jun 2022
Why ‘X’ is the best modern slasher film to buy on DVD!

Why 'X' Is The Best Modern Slasher Film To Buy on DVD!


The slasher genre is one of my favourite horror sub genres. It is cliched, and full of genre tropes, but that’s why It has remained a staple of moviegoers for decades, since 1974s ‘Black Christmas’. The sub-genre has seen an increase in output over the past few years. ‘Halloween’ is back, ‘Fear Street’ was given the slasher treatment last year and now in 2022 we have writer/director Ti West’s ‘X’.’X’ is the latest film from studio A24, who have made a name for themselves in the industry in recent year, with their signature style of ‘elevated horror’. This term has been coined by horror fans, referencing the material as more thought-provoking then your typical horror release. A24’s catalogue also includes ‘Hereditary’, ‘The Witch’, ‘The Lighthouse’, ‘Midsommar’ and ‘Saint Maud’ to name a few. ‘X’ is a slasher film on the surface, but when you go a little deeper, it is much, much more than that. We have a group of adult film stars who head to a ranch in Texas to film their latest adult picture, and the slasher tropes ensue. But underneath this premise we have themes of loss, rebellion, sexuality, and the loss of your youth. ‘X’ is fantastic for a number of reasons and ranks among one of the best modern slasher films. Today, I am going to break down why ’X’ is the best modern slasher. Without further ado, here we go!

The Cast – Ti West assembles one of the best horror movie casts in recent years. We have the likes of Jenna Ortega, Brittany Snow, Kid Cudi, Martin Henderson and Mia Goth in a dual role. The cast goes above and beyond the expectation of these types of characters. Mia Goth is the standout here, playing both our slasher villain in ‘Pearl’ and adult film star Maxine, who is hiding a few secrets of her own. She shines here, flexing her acting muscle, showcasing her range. She makes us care for Pearl who is carrying out some of the most brutal kills in recent years. Jenna Ortega is making a name for herself in the genre as well, featuring in two horror flicks this year with ‘Scream’ and now ‘X’. Another stand out for me, is the director of the adult film Wayne, played remarkably by Marin Henderson. He is truly amazing in this film and I hope to see this revitalise his career on the big screen. Everyone does a great job with the material, elevating what could be seen as cookie cutter characters, to stand out performances.

The setting – The ranch is a great place for the setting of a horror film and ‘X’ uses it remarkably well. Ti West captures the isolation of the location with baron backdrops, dilapidated buildings and even the clever use of the wildlife (a fantastic shot with an alligator in the water). The location becomes its own character in the film, going hand-in-hand with the theme of ‘loss of youth’, as the location can be seen as a visual representation of that. A lot of modern slashers are quite happy to reuse locations, whether it be the town of Haddonfield in Halloween or the classic summer camp in Fear Street: 1978 and American Horror Story 1984. ‘X’ shy’s away from this, bringing back the gritty aesthetic of ‘Texas Chainsaw Massacre’ with the ranch and farmhouse. It's great and a big part of why this film works so well.  

The themes – As I have briefly touched upon, the themes and the visual representation of these themes is excellent and a huge selling point for the film. The elevated horror approach to this material, lends itself to some neat visuals and great sequences. There is a wonderful juxtaposition between our main group of characters as Brittany Snow and Kid Cudi perform a great rendition of the Fleetwood Mac classic ‘Landslide’, as our characters all gather round to listen. This sequence is intercut with Mia Goths ‘Pearl’ as she observes herself. It becomes the introspective look into the character, and adds a level of depth, simply by cutting between the two perspectives, with the lyrics of the song speaking volumes. It was fantastic. This is just one example of where the themes come into play through amazing direction from Ti West. The film is worth checking out just for this aspect alone.

It is easy to see why fans have fallen in love with ‘X’. It's clever, well-written, fantastically acted and directed with clear passion for the genre. This is an instant classic in the slasher genre and will appease fans. Make sure you head to your local Sanity or online to pre-order your copy on DVD today. You won’t want to miss it!

Buy X on DVD here!

Christopher Pattison wrote this blog post for Sanity. See more from Chris here

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