FILM REVIEW | X

Slasher: Owen Campbell, Brittany Snow, Mia Goth, Scott 'Kid Cudi' Mescudi and Jenna Ortega star in X, rated R18+, in cinemas now. Pictures: A24
Slasher: Owen Campbell, Brittany Snow, Mia Goth, Scott 'Kid Cudi' Mescudi and Jenna Ortega star in X, rated R18+, in cinemas now. Pictures: A24

X isn't going to be everyone's cup of tea.

In fact, its audience is probably going to be quite limited.

But those who like it, will like it plenty - and maybe even elevate it to cult classic status.

From the inventive and offbeat A24 studio - which also brought us Midsommar, Hereditary, The Disaster Artist, The Witch and more - X is a classic slasher with a little more to say.

The film, from director Ti West (V/H/S), follows a small group who travel to a Texan farm property to stay in the cabin and shoot an adult film.

There's wannabe porn producer Wayne (New Zealand's own Martin Henderson, having a great old time), his girlfriend/star Maxine (Mia Goth, wispy as always), fellow star Bobby-Lynne (Brittany Snow, showing a side very different from her family-friendly Pitch Perfect venture), her sometimes-boyfriend/star Jackson (Scott 'Kid Cudi' Mescudi), writer-director RJ (Owen Campbell) and his girlfriend/crew Lorraine (Jenna Ortega in a decidedly more adult role for the young star).

Creepy: Mia Goth's Maxine is one of the core characters in the film.

Creepy: Mia Goth's Maxine is one of the core characters in the film.

Set in 1979, X has a grainy quality that recalls classic slashers of the era. The hair and costuming is 70s brilliance, especially Goth's feathered tresses.

The group has dreams of making it big and becoming superstars - and they think the new home video market is just the avenue to allow them to do so.

RJ wants to be a director with a difference, to bring art to the adult film genre and elevate the experience beyond titillation.

Wayne just wants to make a lot of money, while Bobby-Lynne and Maxine want to be massively famous and get everything they want.

Jackson? He's just happy to be involved. And Lorraine is a bit of a mystery.

The first half of the film at least just follows the group around as they get busy getting busy for their film. But there are hints of what's to come later, as we catch glimpses of the strange couple who live at the main house.

When the slasher business starts in the second half, it's hilarious and quite different from a lot of other horror films.

There are some very inventive deaths and also some pretty disturbing scenes.

If you're a horror movie fan and love a good slasher, then you're bound to think that X is a great addition to the genre. It's got something to say about bodily autonomy, ageing and being underestimated. But if you're just coming in for a scare-fest, then you'll probably be disappointed and confused.

Props to Snow and Mescudi for a little musical interlude.

Rating: 6.5/10