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My thoughts on Kimi 2022, No Exit (2022) and X (2022)

genre: crime, thriller, drama

Steven Soderbergh directs Zoë Kravitz in this thriller that is very serviceable. And I think it is the first film where I saw some potential in Kravitz as a leading woman. I don't know if she has what it takes to play Catwoman. But who knows, maybe she will surprise me. 

From the trailer, you might get the impression this is all about this high-tech gadget called Kimi, which is very similar to Siri. But, supposedly, is more human because of people like Angela Childs (Kravitz) checking the data and recordings being tracked. Unfortunately, Kimi is not that bold.

Kimi basically is a Hitchcockian affair. The film slowly builds up tension and suspense, where the thrills are genuine and intense at times. But it's not one that will stick with you for long, since it doesn't go far enough. A real shame since it did have the potential to be more. 

That being said, I found myself to be entertained throughout, and that does count for something.

Like Kimi, No Exit, also feels like an old school thriller where the thrills and tension are mostly derived from the setting and creepy characters. 

It does a good job of setting the mood and some characters. Only the main character is a little more stupid than in Kimi. Havana Rose Liu as Darby is likeable for sure. But you can't help but feel had she approached her predicament more intelligently, the outcome would have been different. One could argue that she didn't know who to trust. Then again, she never did that one thing most people would do and would have definitely saved herself a lot of trouble. 

This film does point out the never ending charisma of actor Dennis Haysbert. I can't emphasize enough how underrated he is. His presence alone elevates this film more than it deserves. Director Damien Power might be inexperienced, but that still doesn't excuse the fact that Haysbert has not been allowed to do more. Since Power also was the writer, he easily could have made it happen. 

Still, while I was expecting something more supernatural and darker, I was surprised how entertained I was. The short runtime and fast pacing definitely helps.

X is one that seems to be a throwback to seventies horror like Texas Chainsaw Massacre. But actually is far more disturbing since it confronts you with a truth every person will face one day. Old age and what that could mean for someone. 

In this film, certain desires will lead to mutilation and death. And yes X is exactly what you think it means. A group of people are on some rural location to shoot an adult film. Naturally, this premise sounds exciting it merely exists as an excuse for them to be subjected to terror. X looks and feels like an art house film trying to convey deeper thoughts and emotions. In hindsight, though, it's an empty film with just a hint of substance. 

In many reviews, it is stated that the film is quite slow and boring. While I understand that sentiment, I don't agree with it. Sure, it takes some time for events to happen. Yet, there is a reason why that is the case. There is a level of uneasiness and creepiness to the location and the characters that reside in this location. It is one of the questions that was lingering in my mind. Was it really necessary for Martin Henderson's character to go so far from his actual home to shoot his adult film? Perhaps this was a play on the horror conventions in general. 

In any case, I enjoyed the film since it did do what horror films are supposed to do.

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