Ti West Unveils ‘X’ Slasher Prequel At SXSW, Plans To Build Horror Franchise

Ti West hadn’t made a horror film in nearly a decade, the last one 2013’s The Sacrament.  Truth be told, I had forgotten the he had one coming out, X, which opens this week and I will be screening later tonight. But the slasher flick also had its world premiere at SXSW over the weekend, and clearly West is enjoying being back in the genre. How do we know? Because he’s already shot a prequel, titled Pearl, and teased it to enthusiastic audiences in Austin.

This is a big deal for a couple of reasons. West is one of the best horror filmmakers around but he’s never done a sequel to one of his own films. No, Cabin Fever 2 doesn’t count. Also, A24 very rarely does followups to any of their projects, although with The Souvenir Part II they’ve done a couple within the last year.

Set  in the 1970s, X follows an amateur filmmaking crew in Texas shooting a porn movie, only to end up the prey of a murderous elderly couple. The film stars Brittany Snow, Mia Goth, Jenna Ortega, Martin Henderson, Kid Cudi, and Owen Campbell. Goth plays both one of the actresses and the killer old woman, Pearl. She also reprises a younger version of that role for the prequel, which is set in 1918.

West isn’t doing all of this as a one-off, either. He wants to turn X into a full-blown franchise.

“I’m trying to build a world out of all this, like people do these days,” West said ahead of the SXSW premiere. “You can’t make a slasher movie without a bunch of sequels.”


Travis Hopson
Travis Hopson has been reviewing movies before he even knew there was such a thing. Having grown up on a combination of bad '80s movies, pro wrestling, comic books, and hip-hop, Travis is uniquely positioned to geek out on just about everything under the sun. A vampire who walks during the day and refuses to sleep, Travis is the co-creator and lead writer for Punch Drunk Critics. He is also a contributor to Good Morning Washington, WBAL Morning News, and WETA Around Town. In the five minutes a day he's not working, Travis is also a voice actor, podcaster, and Twitch gamer. Travis is a voting member of the Critics Choice Association (CCA), Washington DC Area Film Critics Association (WAFCA), and Late Night programmer for the Lakefront Film Festival.