MaXXXine Takes The Series In An Unexpected Direction

For those who aren’t already aware, MaXXXine is actually the third installment in A24’s new horror trilogy. An often over-the-top, on purpose, bloody affair which was a core component of 70s and 80s hacker flicks.

Maxine Minx (Mia Goth) dreams of only being a star at any cost. Not satisfied with her roles in adult films, she yearns for the true Hollywood dream. A star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, roles in big budget films, and her name up in lights. Stalked by an unknown predator, she is forced to take matters into her own hands. When private investigator John Labat (Kevin Bacon) begins to put the squeeze on her, Maxine shows her willingness to triumph at all costs.

I have to admit that I have mixed feelings when it comes to MaXXXine, on one hand it answers the age-old question of “what happens next” after surviving a string of brutal murders in Texas. On the other hand, the story lacks any real direction and doesn’t add much to the context of the character that we already know.

Mia Goth has truly earned her title as one of the hottest new scream queens, and she continues to excel in that role here. It’s unfortunate that she wasn’t given better material to work with. Kevin Bacon, as always turns in an amazing portrayal of the seedy type of individual that one might expect from a PI. Giancarlo Esposito as well delivers as usual.

I guess that’s the problem I have with MaXXXine, it’s not that it’s a bad movie, it’s simply that it doesn’t do anything to make itself stand out. Of the three movies it is by far the most tame, that’s not to say there aren’t buckets of blood and nudity galore. It’s just that the shock value is less intense. Maybe someone who hasn’t seen the first two might not get the same impression. Much of the film explores 80s Hollywood tropes and some almost comically absurd moments. While I understand that is precisely the point and the irony is not lost on me, it just doesn’t go far enough to really distinguish itself from any of the films it’s trying to emulate.

While MaXXXine could be seen as a standalone film, it isn’t something that I’d recommend. Outside of the occasional flashbacks, it really doesn’t delve much into MaXXXine’s past and certainly does not provide any context for the film you are seeing. Both Pearl and X are needed to complete the whole trilogy (in that order) and while you certainly could see the film only as a sequel to X (and not bring Pearl into the mix) there is still so much that just won’t make a lick of sense.

At the end of the day MaXXXine is simply an ok film. It has it’s share of moments, but these are lost in an otherwise uneventful film. If you have seen the previous films and enjoyed them, then there is enough here to complete the trilogy. I wouldn’t recommend paying the price of admission unless you are a diehard fan and simply can’t wait for it to come to streaming. For me personally, it simply doesn’t justify the cost of admission, and this coming from someone that feels all theatrical releases should first be experienced on the big screen. I wouldn’t recommend seeing it unless you have seen at least one of the previous films, particularly if you don’t know what you are getting yourself into. While it is more “tame” it isn’t a film for everyone, and certainly isn’t a film for children or teens.

If you are going into MaXXXine expecting a horror film, you’ll be disappointed. It’s not scary, doesn’t have tense moments, and relies heavily on bloody shock factors to keep you entertained. Where as X felt like a Texas Chainsaw Massacre piece and Pearl an almost Psycho quality this felt a bit more like a mystery, but one that even Scooby and the gang would pass on.

2.5 out of 5 stars

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