Film Review: X

STUDIO: Cinedigm | DIRECTOR: Scott J. Ramsey | CAST: Hope Raymond, Elia Boivin, Brian Smick, Zachary Cowan, Valerie Fachman
RELEASE DATE: Feb. 9, 2021 | PRICE: DVD $14.99
SPECS: NR | 127 min. | Melodrama thriller | 2.35:1 widescreen

RATINGS (out of 5 dishes): Movie  1/2

The just-released 2019 indie film X is marketed as a Hitchcockian erotic thriller, a claim that will undoubtedly raise the expectations of audiences who may eventually feel wrongly teased when a satisfying climax is not fully reached.

The chair of a mysterious foundation Christian King (Hope Raymond, Sleep Away), known to her guests as “X,” hosts charity balls that double as masked sex parties where everyone’s sexuality is welcomingly fluid and no fantasy is too obscene. Though she creates an open, sexually free environment, Christian is ashamed of her own personal fetish – gratifying herself while watching her guests via a hidden camera in her bathroom. When an unexpected criminal act takes place at Christian’s latest party, it threatens to expose her dark secret.

With an alluring plot the film sets out to use titillation and subversion to teach the lesson of self-acceptance through a mixture of melodrama, thriller and camp. However, X lacks any steamy eroticism as well as any tension or suspense — two necessary drivers in any Hitchcockian thriller. In his feature film debut, director Scott J. Ramsey seems to have attempted too much and is unable to thread the multiple genres together into a cohesive narrative tone that works throughout the overly long two-hour running time. Additionally, the dialogue tracks seem disconnected from the action on the screen, making it feel like a foreign film that has been dubbed and thus hindering deeper engagement in the material. Raymond puts in a go-for-broke performance but it’s not nuanced enough to adequately oscillate between the dramatic and comedic themes asked of the character.

It is amazing that any independent film can get off the ground and be made, so props to Ramsey and his team for getting it done and creating a story that can resonate with the LGBT community or anyone that has sexual desires that don’t fit into what society deems “normal.” There are some interesting points of view on hand here, just don’t expect X to be the scintillating, campy thrill ride it hypes itself to be.

Buy or Rent X

About Janine

Janine is a dedicated fan of the 1940 film Kitty Foyle, directed by Sam Wood, written by Dalton Trumbo and starring Ginger Rogers, who won an Oscar for her portrayal. And seeing that film is all it took to make her a lifelong movie lover. Janine is excited to add her insights to the great team at