Mia Goth Cements Her Stardom In Nearly Perfect Conclusion To A24’s Slasher Trilogy


  • Mia Goth shines in MaXXXine, showcasing the evolution of her character and the impact of past events from X.
  • A vibrant cast brings 80s Hollywood to life, with standout performances from Giancarlo Esposito and Elizabeth Debicki.
  • While MaXXXine serves as a satisfying conclusion to the X trilogy, the ultimate villain falls short of the heights set by X.

Maxine Minx has finally made it to Hollywood in MaXXXine, the concluding chapter in A24’s hit horror franchise. Writer-director Ti West took the world by storm in 2022, revitalizing the slasher genre with X before releasing its psychological thriller-style prequel Pearl mere months later. MaXXXine may have taken a little longer to hit theaters, but fans of horror can be assured that it is well worth the wait. The best part is that newcomers can enjoy it as a standalone, but watching X and Pearl beforehand exponentially enhances the experience, creating a nearly perfect sequel.



Mia Goth
, Elizabeth Debicki
, Moses Sumney
, Michelle Monaghan
, Bobby Cannavale
, Lily Collins
, Halsey
, Giancarlo Esposito


103 Minutes

MaXXXine opens in 1985, with Mia Goth’s central heroine Maxine Minx poised to finally reach the promised land of Hollywood stardom. But no sooner has she landed what could be her big break than a serial killer known as the Night Stalker sweeps through the city, slashing through aspiring starlets with no mercy. If that weren’t enough for one rookie actor to deal with, Maxine also finds herself haunted by Pearl and hunted by someone who knows exactly what she did to escape that farmhouse in Texas.

MaXXXine Proves Mia Goth Is An Undeniable Powerhouse In Hollywood

There are a lot of complicated layers that Goth needs to bring to the surface in Maxxine, and the results could easily fall flat in the hands of a less capable performer. Thankfully, no matter how dismissively one might toss out the title of “Scream Queen,” Goth is more than up for the task and delivers a three-dimensional character who is equal parts victim and survivor.

Maxine’s no-holds-barred ambition for fame can at times be off-putting, but her steely glare belies a vulnerability that is all too human.

Goth is not carrying the project on her own, however. MaXXXine features a host of perfectly cast talent, each of whom does their part to flesh out the glitz, glamour, and greed that defines the era. There are one or two missteps — or, more accurately, a couple of characters who aren’t given enough time to leave their mark — but the vast majority of side characters could headline their own story. Giancarlo Esposito is the biggest standout, and he’s clearly having the time of his life playing loyal-to-the-core agent Teddy Night, but Elizabeth Debicki’s director role gives her plenty to chew on as well.

MaXXXine Capitalizes On The Groundwork Laid By X And Pearl

By casting Maxine in a cult classic horror sequel, West cheekily introduces a metatheatrical element to the proceedings, allowing Debicki’s character Elizabeth Bender to ponder how she can successfully make “a B movie with A ideas.” MaXXXine does just that, furthering the thesis of West’s previous two movies, which explore thwarted desire and ambition.

Maxine has it within her to become Pearl should she too be denied her dream, but it is precisely her experiences with Pearl that equip her to come out the victor.

The new movie doesn’t just work in comparison to the prequel, it also pulls directly from the events of X for its plot. PI John Labat (Kevin Bacon, delightfully hamming it up in every scene) has been shown in the trailers hounding Maxine about her past, but he only opens the door to a much larger and more sinister conspiracy that the protagonist unwittingly finds herself at the center of. Much has been made in the marketing of the puritanical viewpoints of those who protest Hollywood, and the movie doesn’t forget to follow that up — or to remind us of Maxine’s own religious upbringing and how it contrasts with her life’s work.

If there is one flaw in Ti West’s perfect recipe for a grand finale, it’s that the setup is more terrifying than the third-act villain. Perhaps the problem is that nothing and no one can measure up to Goth herself portraying the deranged and desire-ridden Pearl, but the resolution of the Night Stalker mystery leaves something wanted. Thankfully, I was too busy deliriously rooting for Maxine Minx to come out on top once more to take much notice of that fact until after the credits rolled.

MaXXXine releases in theaters on July 3. It is rated R for strong violence, gore, sexual content, graphic nudity, language and drug use.

In 1980s Hollywood, adult film star and aspiring actress Maxine Minx lands her big break, but her rise to stardom is jeopardized by a mysterious killer targeting starlets. As the body count rises, secrets from Maxine’s past threaten to surface, intertwining her quest for fame with a deadly game of survival.


  • Mia Goth skillfully highlights what separates Maxine from Pearl and how the events of X changed her.
  • A cast of colorful characters brings ’80s Hollywood to life, including Giancarlo Esposito and Elizabeth Debicki.
  • The movie serves as a more than satisfying conclusion to the X trilogy.

  • The movie’s ultimate villain doesn’t quite live up the the heights of X.

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