Ranking all three films in Ti West's X trilogy, from worst to best

(L-R) Halsey, Mia Goth in MaXXXine, Credit: Justin Lubin/A24
(L-R) Halsey, Mia Goth in MaXXXine, Credit: Justin Lubin/A24 /

MaXXXine was released in theaters on July 5, and tons of people bought tickets to see the highly anticipated slasher. With the release of this film, Ti West’s X trilogy is now complete. Since I’ve watched all three movies, I thought it’d be the perfect time to rank them. Specifically, from worst to best. If you’re curious to know where I decided to rank each movie, all you need to do is continue reading.  

3. MaXXXine

I’m a huge fan of movies set in the ‘80s, especially horror flicks, and MaXXXine definitely did a great job of capturing that time period. The soundtrack went along well with the film too. However, as much as I hate to say it, MaXXXine was a major letdown in my opinion. There wasn’t much suspense, and it was very oddly paced. Honestly, the fault starts with the horrible script. The movie was all over the place with several plot holes. Then, there was this unnecessary chase scene in the middle of the film, which would’ve been okay if it wasn’t as long. I couldn’t get over the overacting of some of the cast as well.

Take Kevin Bacon for example. I’m a fan of his, and I know his character in the movie was meant to be sleazy and annoying, but he overacted, and it was very noticeable. And we absolutely must talk about that rushed and underwhelming ending. I mean, is that really how West decided to wrap up the trilogy? We waited two years for a boring shootout where we didn't even really get to see Maxine kick some a**? MaXXXine was supposed to go out with a bang, but instead, it’s the weakest in the trilogy. Maybe I set my expectations too high, but I was expecting more than what we got.  

2. Pearl

I never understood the hype around Pearl, but I will say it’s a pretty solid horror film. It’s definitely better than MaXXXine. I can tell you that. Serving as a prequel to X, it tells the origin story of the murderous titular character. Set in 1918, Pearl dreams of leaving her family’s Texas homestead to chase her dreams of becoming a movie star. But her overbearing mother prevents this from happening, forcing her to take care of her sickly father. Fed up with having to take care of others and wanting to achieve her goals badly, Pearl becomes increasingly unhappy and deranged. This leads to her embarking on a murderous killing spree.

Mia Goth reprises her role as Pearl from X and gives an outstanding performance. I’m talking about an Oscar-worthy performance. However, what bothered me about this film was how slow-paced it was. I was quite bored at times, which was not the case when watching X. The action doesn’t really begin until the end of the movie, and by then, I was already over it. Would I say this is a bad prequel? Not at all! I just wish the plot was more engaging and the movie was better executed overall. 

1. X

I know I’m not the only one who thinks X is the best movie in the X film series. It introduced us to Ti West’s crazy new cinematic world centering around two characters, Pearl and Maxine. It would later go on to be expanded with two additional movies.

Starring Mia Goth in dual roles, X follows a cast and crew who set out to make an adult film on an elderly couple’s remote farm in rural Texas. But things go terribly wrong when the elderly couple turns out to be homicidal and begins taking them down one by one.

What I love about X so much is how it pays homage to classic ‘70s horror movies, particularly The Texas Chain Saw Massacre. It’s a quite disturbing movie with a dark, twisted sense of humor and an amazing soundtrack. It’s also well-paced, well-acted, full of gore and unexpected twists, and thoroughly entertaining from beginning to end. In all honesty, it’s easily one of A24’s best horror movies. 

How would you rank the films in the X trilogy?

Next. All 3 A Quiet Place films, ranked from worst to best. All 3 A Quiet Place films, ranked from worst to best. dark

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