Maxxxine isn’t just paying homage to exploitation thrillers — it is one

“Maxxxine” Review: Ti West’s Latest Entry in Horror Trilogy

In Ti West’s latest installment in his horror trilogy, “Maxxxine,” audiences are treated to a visually and narratively rich homage to 1980s horror-thrillers. Set in 1985, the film takes cues from iconic films like Brian De Palma’s “Body Double” and Abel Ferrara’s “Ms. 45.” However, the question arises – where does homage end and exploitation begin in a film like “Maxxxine”?

Like its predecessors, “Maxxxine” is filled with references and nods to earlier cinema eras. While “X” and “Pearl” paid tribute to 1970s slashers and 1950s musicals respectively, “Maxxxine” stands out as a direct entry in the genre it references, without a hint of irony or satire.

Themes and Characters in “Maxxxine”

Unlike “X” and “Pearl,” which delved into complex themes of fame, sex, and philosophy, “Maxxxine” focuses more on raw, unfiltered violence. The film follows Maxine Minx, portrayed by Mia Goth, as she navigates the seedy underbelly of Hollywood, facing threats from a local serial killer and predatory law enforcement officers.

While “Maxxxine” is undoubtedly entertaining and fast-paced, it veers into darker territory, bordering on gratuitous exploitation without offering much in terms of character development or thematic depth. The film’s sharper and slicker execution prioritizes shock value over substance, leaving some narrative threads frustratingly unresolved.

The Dark Side of “Maxxxine”

The film’s treatment of violence, particularly against women, is a central focus, echoing real-life crimes like the Black Dahlia murder. However, the narrative tends to sensationalize these elements without providing a nuanced exploration of the consequences. Maxine’s character, portrayed as a survivor willing to do anything for fame, is often overshadowed by the graphic violence surrounding her.

Despite its visually striking sequences and edgy tone, “Maxxxine” fails to give Maxine agency or a compelling character arc. The film’s climax sidelines her in favor of more bloodshed, leaving the audience craving more substance amid the carnage.


Ultimately, “Maxxxine” feels unbalanced compared to its predecessors, prioritizing shock value over character development. While it excels in delivering graphic violence and dark humor, it falls short in giving Maxine a meaningful story arc or narrative progression. As the trilogy’s latest entry, “Maxxxine” struggles to find its footing amidst the wave of exploitation and transgression it portrays.

Maxxxine opens in theaters on July 5.