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X 2022 Film Ending Explained

The ending of Ti West’s 2022 horror film X is a mix of horror and thematic depth. It leaves viewers both satisfied and eager for more.

Ti West’s film X blends slasher elements with the adult film industry. Set in 1979, it follows a group of filmmakers who face a deadly threat at a secluded farmhouse. The film is the first in a trilogy, with a prequel and a sequel on the way.

Plot Summary

X takes place in 1979. A group of adult film actors and filmmakers travel to a secluded farmhouse in rural Texas. They plan to shoot a pornographic film called The Farmer’s Daughter. The group includes Maxine Minx, her producer boyfriend Wayne, actors Bobby-Lynne and Jackson Hole, director RJ, and his girlfriend Lorraine, who serves as the assistant director. The elderly couple who own the property, Howard and Pearl, harbor dark and violent tendencies.

The film’s climax is a bloodbath. Howard and Pearl systematically murder the film crew. Pearl’s jealousy and frustration over her lost youth and sexual vitality trigger the violence. Pearl’s initial advances towards RJ are rebuffed, leading her to kill him in a fit of rage. This sets off a chain reaction of murders, with each character meeting a gruesome end.

The Climactic Ending

The ending of X is intense and bloody. Pearl and Howard, the elderly couple, kill the film crew one by one. Pearl’s jealousy drives her to murder. She kills RJ after he rejects her advances. Wayne steps on a nail and is killed by Pearl with a pitchfork. Bobby-Lynne is pushed into a lake and eaten by an alligator. Howard shoots Jackson with a shotgun. Lorraine is shot by Howard as she tries to escape.

Maxine, the film’s “final girl”, survives the night. She discovers that Pearl and Howard have been keeping previous victims in their basement. In a final confrontation, Howard suffers a fatal heart attack. Maxine runs over Pearl’s head with a pickup truck, ensuring her escape. The film ends with Maxine driving away, leaving behind the carnage.

Thematic Elements

X explores themes like the fear of aging, the loss of sexual vitality, and the clash between conservative values and sexual liberation. Pearl’s jealousy of the younger, sexually active film crew drives her to commit the murders. The film critiques the exploitation in both the adult film industry and the horror genre, drawing parallels between the two.

Religious Undertones

Throughout the film, a televangelist’s sermons play on the farmhouse’s television. These sermons condemn the sins of modern youth and sexuality. In a twist revealed at the end, Maxine is shown to be the estranged daughter of this preacher. This adds a layer of irony to her pursuit of fame in the adult film industry. This revelation sets the stage for the sequel, MaXXXine, which will follow Maxine’s journey in 1980s Los Angeles.

Setup for Future Installments

The ending of X not only concludes the immediate story but also sets up the broader narrative for the trilogy. The post-credits scene teases the prequel Pearl, which explores the backstory of the elderly killer. Pearl delves into her youth during World War I, providing context for her descent into madness. The sequel, MaXXXine, will continue Maxine’s story as she navigates the challenges of the home video era in Hollywood.

Franchise Potential

Ti West aims to build a franchise around the X universe. The trilogy will explore different eras and aspects of the film industry, from the golden age of Hollywood to the rise of home video. Each film stands alone while enriching the overarching narrative.

Critical Reception

X has been praised for its homage to classic slasher films like The Texas Chain Saw Massacre and Psycho. The film’s aesthetic, characterized by a 70s grainy filter and sepia tones, enhances its nostalgic appeal. Critics have lauded Mia Goth’s dual performance as both Maxine and Pearl, highlighting her versatility and commitment to the roles.

Box Office and Awards

X premiered at South by Southwest (SXSW) on March 13, 2022, and was released theatrically on March 18, 2022. It received generally positive reviews and performed well at the box office. Despite its success, the film did not receive any recognition from the 2023 Oscars, a point of contention among fans and critics alike.


The ending of X is a masterful blend of horror and thematic depth. Ti West’s vision for the trilogy promises to explore the dark underbelly of the film industry across different eras. As Maxine drives away from the carnage, her story is far from over, setting the stage for a thrilling continuation in MaXXXine.


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