MaXXXine Teases an Alternate Version of a True-Crime Killing Spree

There’s a serial killer on the loose in A24’s latest horror.

Mia Goth as Maxine Minx in MaXXXine

Ti West’s latest horror remix is nearly here. Just two years after delivering a tongue-in-cheek homage to ‘70s slashers and indie adult films with X, the director is teaming up with his partner in crime, Mia Goth, to bring the X trilogy to an end. After pulling double duty as final girl and slasher in both X and its Golden Age-era prequel, Pearl, Goth is back as Maxine Minx, an aspiring star striving endlessly for her big break.

Six years have passed since the massacre in X, and Maxine certainly hasn’t been idle. In that time, she’s become a big name in the adult film scene. Naturally, though, that’s not quite enough for her. She doesn’t want to be just a porn star: she’s a star, period — and Hollywood is finally beginning to take notice.

MaXXXine follows the title heroine as she works to cross over into mainstream films. When she’s cast in a pulpy horror film, her ultimate dream is finally within reach. But Maxine’s past will come back to haunt her in a major way with the emergence of a serial killer. Those who’ve studied up on their true crime will recognize the particular fiend hunting Hollywood starlets. MaXXXine finds its prime antagonist in the form of The Night Stalker, a real-life killer whose Satanist crime-spree plagued Los Angeles from 1984 to 1985.

Focusing your horror homage on a real-life killer is certainly a risky move — especially at a time where pop culture’s affinity for serial murders is at its most pervasive. That said, West has proven his chops time and again, and there’s every chance that MaXXXine will handle its subject matter with care. If anything, the upcoming film could take an alternate history approach to the Night Stalker’s reign of terror, remixing the real-life case with the eroticized themes of classic ‘80s noir.

In real life, Richard Ramirez was eventually identified as the Night Stalker. But how closely will MaXXXine follow historical events? The film’s first trailer frames the Stalker as a possible figure from Maxine’s past — or at least a physical manifestation of the skeletons in her closet. He even seems to be targeting Maxine specifically. Is it just pure coincidence, or is West priming us for a different take on this tragedy?

Either way, Maxine will likely have to face the killer, and all that he represents, in order to really make it in Hollywood. The X trilogy is headed for a bloody conclusion — but if there’s one thing we’ve learned from X and Pearl, it’s that Goth’s aspiring starlets aren’t to be underestimated.

MaXXXine hits theaters on July 5.

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