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‘Maxxxine’: Ti West, Lily Collins Shock Fans with Surprise Screening of New Horror Movie

Ti West and A24 pulled off a killer surprise Thursday night, unveiling an early screening of their upcoming slasher movie Maxxxine to a group of unsuspecting horror fans.

The evening was billed as a double feature of West’s X horror series, which includes X and Pearl, the movies that thrust Mia Goth into the role Hollywood’s nouveau killer queen. The sold out evening brought out film nerds and horror geeks of all shapes and hairstyles, some dressed up as Pearl, some wearing Pearl T-shirts, others sporting t-shirts with logos and characters ranging from X-Men to Once Upon a Time in Hollywood‘s Rick Dalton.

During a Q&A in between the two screenings, moderator and Maxxxine actress Lily Collins and West suddenly switched gears. Collins asked how many in the audience had seen Pearl, with almost all raising their hands. She then posited the question: if everyone had seen that movie, why see it again if they could just see Maxxxine? The crowd cheered in the affirmative, although it was clear the audience think she was serious. When West confirmed, saying, “You’re going to be the first to see this movie,” the crowd went wild, cheering and whistling. Some gasped and covered their mouths.

“Just don’t spoil it,” West said.

Prior to the surprise, West talked of his experience directing the trilogy, from making the first two during the pandemic to the challenges of shooting Goth in her double role in X. He also recalled facing off against eels during a lake shot (and not telling actor Kid Cudi about them). He even floated making movie set between X and Pearl. “You never know,” West said.

The X movies proved to be surprise hits for A24, garnering acclaim from critics and horror fans alike, while also making a nice killing at the box office. X, released in March 2022, was a love letter to backwoods horror movies of the 1970s as well a nod to the porn films of that time, even as it dealt with themes of aging and fading beauty. Pearl was made under the radar almost at the same time as X and bowed in September 2022. Pearl was a prequel to X, and had the feel of a Douglas Sirk melodrama, focusing on a woman’s insatiable desire for fame and stardom.

Both movies, Pearl especially, were star-making turns for Goth, who has played multiple roles in the films. She is now back in Maxxxine, which is set in mid-1980s Hollywood and sees the surviving character from the first movie working in the VHS-bustling porn business and on the precipice of a big career break. Until her past threatens to catch up with her, that it.

A24 opens the movie July 5.

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