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PEARL (2022)

Release Date: 08/16/22 [Cinemas]

Genre: Horror

Studio: A24

"Backstory on how Pearl became the person she was."


Ti West’s second installment in his blood-soaked trilogy Pearl is a perfect concoction of character development and world building. I was a little worried it was just going to be a one-watch spinoff, but it’s so much more than that. Having established Pearl, the character in her later years in X (2022), Pearl the movie is a jump back in time to see where her passionate tendencies were born. 


It’s 1918 and all Pearl wants is to get out of her little farm town and be a star. With her husband away at war and her father debilitated in a wheelchair, she is forced to stay on her parents’ farm to help her mother. Pearl makes it clear that all she wants is to dance like the ladies on the big screen in a synchronized chorus line, but her strict German mother won’t have it. Pearl starts to slowly take fate into her own hands, especially when she doesn’t get her way. 


Call me a sucker for a good three act structure, but I love how this movie starts, where it takes us, and how it ends. I appreciate that while it is filled with horrific imagery, it’s not a dark and spooky slasher in the way that X is. It plays out like an alternate reality The Wizard of Oz, but if Dorothy completely snapped. The dedication to the set design is unmatched for many period movies of the last few years. Pearl manages to capture its setting in an organic way that doesn’t feel like a pandering gimmick (lookin at you, Mank).


Mia Goth’s performance is jaw dropping and completely off the wall from the beginning to the end credits (literally). In X, Mia Goth brilliantly plays Maxine AND the old version of Pearl, both performances solidifying her acting chops. But playing a younger version of her secondary character was beyond anything I could have imagined. Pearl embodies the origin of the desperate need-to-be-famous phenomenon. The whole thing is masterfully crafted and I am so worried it’s going to fall under the radar. I really hope you get the chance to see it in theaters as soon as possible. It’s not necessary to see X first, but I do recommend watching it at some point, because that film is also great.

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