In 1980s Hollywood, adult film star and aspiring actress Maxine Minx finally gets her big break. But as a mysterious killer stalks the starlets of Hollywood, a trail of blood threatens to reveal her sinister past.

  • Released:
  • Runtime: 104 minutes
  • Genre: Crime, Horror, Thrillers
  • Stars: Mia Goth, Kevin Bacon, Elizabeth Debicki, Michelle Monaghan, Halsey, Bobby Cannavale, Lily Collins, Moses Sumney, Giancarlo Esposito, Uli Latukefu, Chloe Farnworth, Deborah Geffner, Cecilia Yesuil Kim, Charley Rowan McCain, Daniel Lench, Sophie Thatcher, Ned Vaughn, Pegah Rashti, Susan Pingleton, James Hunter
  • Director: Ti West
  • drownsoda90 - 4 July 2024
    West's love letter to Hollywood-set exploitation of the late '70s and '80s
    This audacious conclusion to Ti West's "X" trilogy follows that film's final girl, Maxine Minx, an aspiring actress who, several years after surviving a mass murder, is attempting to forge a mainstream acting career in Hollywood. Unfortunately, someone has other plans for her.

    While it may not plumb the emotional depths that something like "Pearl" did (exquisitely and at times devastatingly, I thought), and although it is not as slasher-heavy as "X", "MaXXXine" takes this trilogy of films to the most popcorny of popcorny heights--and I mean that in the best way possible.

    "MaXXXine" is downright fun--a typical murder mystery with Italian giallo elements and an intoxicating mid-'80s Los Angeles setting that hits the right notes of video glam and the ugliness lurking underneath. There are noticeable echoes of films like "Vice Squad" (1982), "Hollywood Boulevard" (1976), and "Hardcore' (1979), but the film it perhaps most reminded me of was 1984's exploitation classic "Angel", which stars Donna Wilkes as a prostitute trying to evade a serial killer on Hollywood Boulevard. "MaXXXine" owes more to this Hollywood sub-genre of exploitation than it does any slasher film. Where "X" was West's love letter to southern horror a la Tobe Hooper, and where "Pearl" was his homage to the 1950s Technicolor epics, "MaXXXine" is really a grandiose bow to the numerous Hollywood-set exploitation films of the late '70s and '80s.

    Mia Goth reprises her role of Maxine here and is as strong as ever, creating a heroine who is likable despite having her own moral flaws. Like Hollywood itself, Maxine is really a cipher for the spirit of the town and the industry--she is all about ambition and all about surfaces, her rocky past be damned. There is a large host of characters circling around her here, with a number of older, highly recognizable stars (Kevin Bacon, Giancarlo Esposito, Michelle Monaghan, Bobby Cannavale) along with a younger cast of Goth's peers (Elizabeth Debicki, Halsey, Moses Sumney), and the chemistry among everyone works nicely.

    My one minor gripe with the film is the final act, which boasts a somewhat predictable reveal and a finale that almost stretches itself too thin for its own good. Despite this, "MaXXXine" remains irresistibly fun and witty, which alone makes it worthwhile. Fans of the above-mentioned Hollywood exploitation films will especially enjoy it. She's a star, all right, if only in her own movie. 8/10.