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Top 5 Ti West Films Ranked.

I've been a movie enthusiast my whole life and been writing movie reviews for over 15 years.

Pearl (2022)

Pearl (2022)

As of this writing Pearl, the prequel to Ti West’s 2022 horror hit X hits theaters on September 16, 2022. Though primarily known for horror, West has dabbled outside the genre on occasion with mixed results.

Before Pearl’s release date, be sure to watch or catch up on Ti West’s previous films. Though it may seem difficult to believe based on Pearl and X, West’s movies do occasionally have more than one word in the title.

X (2022)

X (2022)

1) X (2022)

Ti West’s gritty gut-fest set in the time of bellbottoms, feathered hair and circular sunglasses was a fun, gory homage to other 70s horror movies while standing on its own. Drenched in sex, Texas heat and some very active elderly, X made you not trust the sept- and octogenarians in your life.

Featuring a standout performance by Mia Goth (her accent is pretty good considering), X gets a 10 with kill creativity (or maybe an X?) as it’s not long before the blood and brains start splattering. Subtle (but not overbearing) progressive sexual and political views make this more than empty blood and guts. With Pearl opening a mere six months after X’s release, fans seem more than a little X-cited.

Buy X Here!

The House of the Devil (2009)

The House of the Devil (2009)

2) The House of the Devil (2009)

Worst babysitting job ever. Released in 2009 and set in the 80s before everything was set in the 80s. We follow our cash strapped sitter Samantha (Jocelin Donahue) as she looks to pay some bills by sitting some kids. Only the job doesn’t involve kids. But an elderly couple and their mother. Clearly Ti West has a thing for the elderly.

If you haven’t seen it I’d be wary of spoiling it for you…if the title didn’t already hint at some revelations. The setup is a lot more suspenseful than the eventual payoff, though for the most part it’s satisfactory. Featuring future Lady Bird director Greta Gerwig, this House is unclean. And really dark.

In a Valley of Violence (2016)

In a Valley of Violence (2016)

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3) In a Valley of Violence (2016)

If movies with guys and guns have told us anything, it’s don’t mess with a guy’s dog. Especially if that’s all he has. Ti West’s, um, Western does indeed contain a vast valley of violence. But the violence does mean something in Valley, every kill has a purpose in a movie more character driven than you’d expect.

Ethan Hawke gives one of his best performances as man who accepts violence as a part of his reality, hoping to avoid it but not shying away if he has to. A relatively subdued John Travolta provides a wonderful foil, partly because he wants to avoid conflict as much as possible too.

With a title like In A Valley of Violence you can expect where the climax would lead to. You’d be right, except when you’re wrong. Violence might inch up a notch in ranking after a rewatch, but if you haven’t seen it, this is a Valley worth visiting.

The Sacrament (2013)

The Sacrament (2013)

4) The Sacrament (2013)

If you’ve ever read my articles before, you might know that I normally loathe found footage movies because they murdered my parents in an alley when I was a child (like Batman, I know), and The Sacrament has all the strengths and weakness of the found footage genre. It’s main strength is a toweringly unsetting performance by Gene Jones (most well known as the gas station attendant Javier Bardem flips a coin for in No Country for Old Men) as “Father”.

A cult leader in charge of Eden’s Parish, a name that doesn’t sound creepy at all (wink, wink, drink the Kool-Aid). More of a thriller than an out-and-out horror movie, Sacrament has sequences that disquiet, as well as parts that make you feel dizzy. With an ending you might be able to guess, but its execution leaves you agog. If you don’t mind found footage, this is a must. If you like watching Netflix series about actual cults, maybe see a fictional one as well.

The Innkeepers (2011)

The Innkeepers (2011)

5) The Innkeepers (2011)

A lo-fi, almost chill horror movie set in a (possibly haunted) inn during its final days before it closes. Our intrepid temporary innkeepers (Sara Paxton and Pat Healy, wonderful with crosscutting chemistry), try to investigate the supernatural goings on. Ti West tones down the mood as there are times when you forget you’re watching a horror movie.

Some may find Innkeepers boring, some engrossing. Arguments can be made for both. But for almost 100 minutes you get to know the ins and the outs of the Yankee Pedlar Inn. Even stuff you wish you hadn’t. If you’re on the fence, see this just for Kelly McGillis as an ornery former actress staying at the inn one last time. Because it’s Kelly McGillis.

Overall

Before you see Pearl, here are some of Ti West’s cinematic pearls for you to rewatch or see for the first time. His films may not be for everyone, but West consistently adds more layers to genre entertainment than you’d expect.

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© 2022 Noel Penaflor

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