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By Alan Ng | March 1, 2021

What appears to be a masquerade ball for charity turns into something much more thrilling in Scott J. Ramsey’s X. On this night, guests at the ball are looking for anonymity and a safe space, especially newcomer Stella (Eliza Bolvin). During her first visit, she soon discovers just how exclusive and out of place she is.

As Stella, or “E7,” stumbles her way through the party, she makes one faux pas after the other—not knowing the rules, protocol for name assignments, and, the final straw, reveals her real name. That last one gets her in trouble with the ball’s head organizer, Christian (Hope Raymond). Christian discovers that Stella not only lied to get in but also learns that they went to high school together. Given a strict warning to behave herself, Stella is allowed to stay for the after-hours festivities.

Christian installed a hidden camera in the mansion’s only bathroom for guests, and she gets off sexually by watching her guests…”

I won’t be coy about it — the Foundation charity ball doubles as a masked sex party. The Foundation was established by Christian’s mother, a well-known singer, and when she took over the Foundation, she turned the “fundraiser” into a sex party for her own personal pleasure. Ironically, the most normal aspect of X is the party. Members come to experience and fulfill their erotic fantasies in a safe, private environment. There is no moral judgment, just freedom.

The story’s central conflict revolves around one prominent secret. Christian installed a hidden camera in the mansion’s only bathroom for guests, and she gets off sexually by watching her guests relieve themselves.

Questionable voyeurism aside, X is a character-based thriller. Stella’s profession as a cam-girl automatically puts her in the lowest tier in the eyes of Christian and her guests. Christian’s business partner Danny (Brian Smick) is the one who sneaks Stella into the party, bypassing all security protocols (which he implemented) because he thinks she’ll bring a specific clientele the party needs. Then there’s Christian herself, who harbors plenty of insecurities as a trust fund child living a comfortable life under her mother’s fame. Everyone has both a public and secretive private life, and the story pushes this privacy to its limits until the final straw is laid, breaking the camel’s back.

X (2021)

Directed: Scott J. Ramsey

Written: Hannah Katherine Jost, Scott J. Ramsey

Starring: Hope Raymond, Eliza Boivin, Brian Smick, etc.

Movie score: 8/10

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"…don't feel the need to turn their story...into a Skin-a-MAX late-night thriller."

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