X Trailer: 'Hollywood, Here We Come'

Welcome back to big-screen horror, Ti West. The filmmaker behind "The House of the Devil" is returning to feature filmmaking for the first time since 2016 with "X" from A24. The film, which West also wrote, has been mostly kept under wraps until its poster dropped yesterday. But with the release of its first trailer, "X" is leaping high up on our list of the most anticipated horror of 2022.

The trailer is quite a trip for anyone who isn't already familiar with the premise of "X." Brittany Snow's character opens with a breathy "take one" as she slams a clapperboard. A man named Wayne (Martin Henderson) is traveling with some beautiful women, including one (Mia Goth) who tells him she needs to be famous — "All the best people are." Wayne tells her she has that X factor, and they pile into a big van along with what seems to be a film cast and crew. Also, the vibe is very 1970s.

An X-Rated Shoot From Hell

Everything seems well and good until the group gets to a rural farmhouse, where Wayne goes to chat with the creepily balding property owner. This guy really puts a damper on the sexy vibe the trailer seems to be setting up, and things only get weirder when he warns the guests not to disturb his wife, who's unwell. Two things soon become crystal clear: these people are shooting a porno, and this is about to get really gnarly.

Along with Snow, Goth, and Henderson, "X" also stars Jenny Ortega ("Scream"), Scott Mescudi (AKA Kid Cudi), Owen Campbell, and Stephen Ure. Things unravel quickly after the group gets to the farmhouse; they try to hide the nature of their production from the elderly family, but that's the least of their worries. Saying the owner's wife is unwell is an understatement: in the quick clips we see, she sneaks into one of the cast members' rooms at night, creepily brushes her hair in the mirror, and stands unnervingly still in front of the van when a crew member tries to leave.

A Rare A24 Bloodbath?

For the most part, the trailer does a great job creating hype without giving too much away. Though the film's rural set-up calls to mind horror classics like "The Texas Chain Saw Massacre," it's unclear exactly what plagues the woman who's haunting the porn production's cast and crew. Unfortunately, there's an unnecessary bit at the trailer's end that does seem to divulge too much about the movie. We see cops at the house in the light of day, a massive blood spatter behind them, and they find one of the crew member's cameras. This moment seems to be from the very end of the movie, and the cop's one-liner isn't a worthy trade-off for the scene's potentially spoiler-laden implications.

Fortunately, West's work is all about the execution, and "X" looks like it'll be a stylish blast. The director has previously shot on 16mm, and this movie looks like it'll be mixing film gauges as well, with the movie-within-the movie looking gorgeous and grainy. A24 horror is sometimes mocked for its bloodlessness, but the trailer builds with brief shots — including Ortega's screams and a flinch-inducing potential eye-gouging scene — that indicate West is willing to go the gory distance with this one. The trailer introduces its cast with the pink-red flickering font of an X-rated movie and carries a rollicking swagger through to the bloody end.

A24 has not yet announced a release date for "X."