MaXXXine Ending: How Maxine Minx's Story Ties Together At The End Of The X Trilogy

 Mia Goth aims a pistol with confidence while bathed in red neon light in MaXXXine.
Credit: Justin Lubin / A24

Warning: spoilers for MaXXXine are in play. If you haven’t seen the latest entry in Ti West’s horror franchise, you’ve been warned.

Mia Goth’s Maxine Minx has been through hell and back over the course of two films that plunge the star of X into some quite harrowing experiences. The 2024 movie MaXXXine seems to mark the end of the trilogy that kicked off with Ti West’s first two entries in 2022; and the result is something that truly needs to be seen to be believed.

MaXXXine also ties into its predecessors in some exciting ways when all is said and done. To really talk about how and why, we’re going to need to dig into the ending and all of the gory, spoiler-y details. So, if you’re not up to date on Maxine Minx’s latest adventure, but want to know more, check out Eric Eisenberg’s MaXXXine review and go see the movie. As for the rest of you, it’s time to go beyond those green doors and take a look at how this goddamned fucked up horror picture potentially tied things up.

A bloodied Mia Goth gestures to stay quiet as she holds a weapon in X.
A bloodied Mia Goth gestures to stay quiet as she holds a weapon in X.

X, Or ‘The Texas Porn Star Massacre,’ In A Nutshell

Since we do have a pretty awesome feature on the X ending in play, I won’t spend too much time recapping the first film released in this saga. However, a quick rundown is appropriate, as X does lay down the tracks for MaXXXine’s central mystery as we learned even more about Ms. Minx’s past.

Born as Maxine Miller, our heroine ran away from home at some point between 1959 and 1979 and rechristened herself as ambitious porn star Maxine Minx (Mia Goth). Surviving the “Texas Porn Star Massacre” waged by Pearl (Mia Goth) and husband Howard (Stephen Ure), Maxine kills the woman obsessed with her youth…who also happens to be a fan of her televangelist father Ernest (Simon Prast).

As we saw at the end of X, the man was focused on finding his daughter again; and that would turn out to be more important than we thought down the line.

A mysterious figure watches Mia Goth dancing through a window in MaXXXine.
A mysterious figure watches Mia Goth dancing through a window in MaXXXine.

The Identity Of Maxine Minx’s Stalker, Revealed

In the world of MaXXXine’s 1985 L.A. setting, the real-life killer Richard “The Night Stalker” Ramirez is claiming the victims' history would eventually be attributed to his hand. But at the same time, Maxine Minx and her fellow sex workers are being stalked by a copycat. And that would-be killer is none other than Ernest Miller, her own father!

Using the assistance of shady private investigator John Labat (Kevin Bacon), Ernest has set up shop in the Hollywood Hills, and he is on a mission. His quest to find his daughter, established in X, also comes with another mission: to make a film about Hollywood’s seemingly demonic tendencies. And like any good horror movie, there’s a body count associated with that production; which claims friend and co-worker alike.

Giancarlo Esposito smokes a cigarette with attitude while Mia Goth stands watching off screen carnage in MaXXXine.
Giancarlo Esposito smokes a cigarette with attitude while Mia Goth stands watching off screen carnage in MaXXXine.

Maxine Minx Exorcises Her Past And Becomes A Star

The two big pillars to Maxine Minx’s life story are overcoming her traumatic past, while also becoming a Hollywood star. MaXXXine gives her the chance to do both throughout the course of events that unfold. In the case of overcoming her past, confronting and murdering her psychotic father is how one piece of that puzzle happens to snap into place.

Escaping her father's clutches, and cornering him behind the Hollywood sign, Maxine blasts his head apart with a shotgun, after telling him that he gave her all she needed to become a star. Free of his menace, Minx's role in The Puritan II, the sequel within a sequel being made in MaXXXine, can continue on as planned.

Meant to be her huge crossover hit that’ll take her from adult films to mainstream cinema, she’s got a director who believes in her (Elizabeth Debicki), an agent who swears he’d go to jail for her (Giancarlo Esposito), and a movie that looks to be a horror classic in the making. At this point, all Maxine Minx wants is one simple thing: for her success to never end.

Pearl in Pearl.
Pearl in Pearl.

How Does Pearl Tie Into Everything?

On the surface, some might be questioning how exactly this last film ties into Pearl’s ending, as the 1918 set prequel doesn’t seem to be all that connected. However, through easter eggs and good old haunting guilt, the story of that young lady-turned-old murderess is even more powerful. Especially because Maxine Minx achieved the dream that Pearl could not.

Though she appears as a specter haunting our heroine throughout MaXXXine, Pearl’s ghost serves a dual purpose. Not only is she tangibly there to remind Maxine of her experience during X, but she’s also a metaphorical shadow cast over her and the rest of the women just trying to become the next star with that “X Factor.”

Also, when it comes to easter eggs that tie Pearl even tighter into the fabric of the X trilogy, we see someone putting out a cigarette on a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. The name on that particular spot is none other than Theda Bara; which is fitting for several reasons.

Historically, Bara is known as “Hollywood’s first sex symbol,” so the story of Pearl and Maxine’s quests for stardom would seem to be tipping a hat to her historical relevance. But also, since MaXXXine is a sadly gator-less affair, it felt only fair to reference Pearl’s pet alligator in some way, shape, or form; as it shares a name with one of her favorite film stars.

Mia Goth and Elizabeth Debicki look towards the camera with curiosity in MaXXXine.
Mia Goth and Elizabeth Debicki look towards the camera with curiosity in MaXXXine.

What MaXXXine’s Ending Could Be Hinting At For A Potential Sequel

I’d like to close with a potential note on where things could go, should Ti West’s tease of a fourth X movie come to pass. As Theda Bara has been an influence on where this story has gone, her failure to move past her image as a sex symbol might hold a key to where Maxine Minx could be headed next. I’d be lying if I didn’t have some sort of concern for Mia Goth’s starlet-to-be, last seen snorting cocaine with a $100 bill; a notable upgrade since doing so with a $2 bill in her X introduction.

There are plenty of ideas for how this series could continue, as the gaps in the timeline are as numerous as the impressive new characters introduced in MaXXXine. However, I think that if there’s one final chapter to be had, it almost has to be Maxine Minx’s fall from grace; and her potential death by overdose.

I don’t want that to happen, but with the way the threads are woven in these three films, that feels like a tragic, but fitting, ending. It's also a natural pivot to the gothic horror genre, especially because, as we've now seen two times in a row, the only person who can stop Maxine Minx seems to be herself. While the ghosts of her past are gone for now, who's to say they're really dead and buried for good?

We’ll just have to wait and see, as MaXXXine is beginning its box office run, in theaters now. For all I know, I’ve missed something in both X and Pearl, that might hold even more clues to what’s truly going on. While X is currently not available outside of digital rentals and/or purchases, you can revisit Pearl through a Prime Video or Paramount+ subscription.