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“MaXXXine” brings nostalgia and gives Mia Goth’s character the farewell she deserves

In tune with the current cinematic era, even a slasher-centric franchise gains a “universe” these days, since “MaXXXine” closes an unlikely trilogy from the writer and director Ti West and the star Mia Goth . Moving up a class in terms of cast, the film works best as an ode to the movies and filth of 1980s Hollywood and a little less of a mystery built around its rising star.

That would be Goth’s Maxine Minx, an adult-film actress who survived a rural massacre during a remote shoot depicted in “X,” whose roots were further explored in the prequel “Pearl.” Maxine is now in Los Angeles and trying to make it in “legitimate” films (“Acting is acting,” she says confidently during an audition), even though the film is a horror that is provoking protests and accusations of Satanism outside the studio.

As she pursues this big break, repeating her mantra, “I won’t settle for a life I don’t deserve,” Maxine also discovers that someone seems to be after her, having put a private detective (a seething Kevin Bacon) on her trail, bringing back memories from her past. This at least provides connective tissue for “X” and motivations that may go beyond the title character being really unlucky in the way that “final girls” tend to be.

The danger also comes at a time of high alert in the city, as it is 1985, and the Night Stalker killer is still on the loose.

In addition to Kevin Bacon, the supporting cast includes Lily Collins, Halsey, Giancarlo Esposito, Elizabeth Debicki, and Bobby Cannavale and Michelle Monaghan, as a pair of detectives eager to find out what Maxine knows about the crime wave surrounding her — which only sparks her skepticism and can-do attitude, applying a relentless pursuit of stardom to her self-defense.

Goth again turns his alter ego into a force of nature, but the film’s simpler pleasures come in its evocation of the era, with songs like “Bette Davis Eyes” and a hit from the film “Stewarts” (1985), as well as billboards of actress Angelyne and references to films like “Dressed to Kill” (1980).

While the box office has seen some welcome signs of “life” lately, horror has remained a reliable staple since the pandemic began, thanks in part to the quality of films like “X” and “Pearl” compared to would-be blockbusters, as long as they deliver the requisite thrills.

West mixes a bit of humor with the gore in this one, even if the payoff, unfortunately, doesn’t quite measure up to the build-up. So far, though, “MaXXXine” has delivered enough nostalgia for its genre to merit a walk down its alleys and, not incidentally, the screening and farewell that Goth’s character deserves.

Source: CNN Brasil

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