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X (2022)
The 2022 thriller X is a stomach-churning, cringe-worthy melange of sex and violence that originally seems to be a re-thinking of the Friday the 13th franchise, but this film goes to so many dark and ugly places that few films have tread that I wanted to turn this off several times, but morbid curiosity somehow got me through to the closing credits.

It's 1979 and a group of young people are travel in a van to a small town in Texas where they have rented an isloated farmhouse so that they can make a porno film called "The Farmer's Daughters." The owners of the farmhouse, who are well into their 80's, don't know what these people are planning to do, but when they figure it out, these young filmmakes find themselves amid the most twisted and terrifying battle for their lives.

Director and screenwriter Ti West has taken the classic slasher movie premise and woven into the screenplay a challenging look at sexual mores that doesn't just address the inpropriety of pre-marital sex, but actually seems to be addressing the concept of equating sex with sin, utilizing a black and white religious program as a set piece and sounding board for the story.

West's direction shows definite DePalma, and Craven influence as, once the story gets rolling, he shows a real skill with building suspense and the immediate "Boo" that were quite instrumental in keeping this reviewer invested, despite the fact that there were a lot of images onscreen that just turned my stomach.

West gets first rate assistance from his editor and cinematographer and some solid performances from Maritn Davidson, Jenna Ortega, Mia Goth, and an eye-opening turn from Brittany Snow. There's some real skill behind the camera here, but the subject matter is so disgusting, it's hard to tell.