X (2022) — A Vintage Road Trip Slasher That Subverts The Horror Genre
My reaction. It’s literally one big spoiler. You’ve been warned.
So, it goes without saying, but if you haven’t already seen the 2022 film X, starring Mia Goth, Jenna Ortega, Brittany Snow, Kid Cudi and Martin Henderson, you probably want to stop reading now.
I’m giving away a major underlying theme of the story, at least how I interpret it, anyways.
The movie is best experienced with as little input as possible. At least the first time.
One of the most important themes in X is virginity. Or rather, the concept of purity and innocence.
This is interesting because, as far as I can tell, no one in the film is an actual virgin. At least not in the physical sense.
Not even, “Church mouse” (Lorraine, played by Ortega).
She‘s extremely introverted in ways that do a disservice to her persona.
But I never get the sense that this is her first rodeo.
What she is, however, is innocent.
It’s clear from the beginning that this isn’t her world.
One imagines that Maxine (Goth) and Bobby-Lynne (Snow) have lived a thousand lifetimes as adult film stars, braving the depths of the world as adventurous thrill-seekers at some points and living on the edge of straight up danger on others.
Like the title song from track seven of Hole’s “Live Through This”: Go for credit in the straight world, look a dealer in the eye.
They’ve earned their street smarts the only way one can — By being in the thick of it, at every seedy bar, on every porn set and on every long road trip into unfamiliar territory.
In a way this mirrors the way many sex workers still live as unprotected members of society. Especially those with less wealth and privilege.
They have what Lorraine does not: Grit.
But this is specifically true for Maxine, who emerges as the sole survivor of X.
She is our final girl.
Which makes sense for someone who’s gone from experiencing the horrors of living in an ultra-religious, possibly abusive household, to one who has learned to live on the opposite side…