pearl is Ti West’s origin story of the now famous villain from the early 2022 hit slasher film X. This villain, Pearl, has been the subject of much conversation and speculation about her debut when
pearl is Ti West’s origin story of the now famous villain from the early 2022 hit slasher film X. This villain, Pearl, has been the subject of much conversation and speculation about her debut when X premiered in March 2022. However, we finally get to see what brought this character to his breaking point. The first installment of Ti West’s growing narrative was more of an homage to ’70s slasher movies, but it also introduced audiences to his vision that combines classic aesthetics with original storytelling.
pearl takes things to a level that audiences have never seen before and is quite ambitious. It represents the fantastical elements that made films like The Wizard of Oz so unique, but also psychological thrills just like a film of similar origin, Joker. West’s recent film centers on Pearl (Mia Goth) and her secluded life on a farm in 1918. She begins to go off the rails psychologically and show the world what she’s truly capable of. Ti West and co-writer Mia Goth did this world justice by seamlessly blending the two films while leaving speculation about what might happen next.
Pearl: a period piece
just like x, which took place in the 1970s, pearl is truly a period piece. With a setting like 1918, we see how the main character deals with the elements that plagued the world around him at that time. The way the opening credits roll and the choices in the score and soundtrack establish a classic horror presentation we haven’t seen in theaters in a while.
World War I, the Spanish flu, and the rise of cinema were crucial factors affecting Pearl’s boiling point. Pearl is tied to her home with an emotionally abusive mother (Tandi Wright) and sick father (Matthew Sunderland). Pearl’s mother, Ruth, forces her to live within their four walls and forbids her to even discuss going to the outside world that moves into the future without her.
One of the elements of this film that ties it to its previous one is the film industry, from silent films to adult films. There’s a sequence where the theater projectionist (David Corenswet) shows Pearl a movie that no one has seen before. He shows her an adult movie, and she becomes mesmerized by his brutality and animalistic style. He tells Pearl that this is the future of cinema. In early 1918, a film like the one Pearl witnessed would be hidden from public view. However, she sees the return of this industry coming knocking at her door in X when the group of filmmakers want to make an adult movie on their property. Pearl just wanted to be loved and be able to share her on-screen talents in any way she could, but there was always a darkness within her that connected her two roles.
Mia Goth as Pearl and Maxine
In x, Maxine wanted to break into stardom and the only way to do that was in adult entertainment. The 1970s saw a boom in this type of entertainment and it was more accessible than before. There lies its chance to be seen and loved by viewers. However, there is a line in the film that connects her character Maxine to her character Pearl, which is made much more prevalent by seeing the two films back to back.
Maxine: “I will not accept a life that I do not deserve.”
This line is shown several times throughout X. However, it’s just as important when you see the breakdown of Pearl. She’s trapped on a farm having to deal with the same routines over and over again. We see flashes as she dances around the barn in front of her cattle audience. She dances and imagines a romantic relationship with a scarecrow in the middle of a cornfield. She is also passionate about the movies she has to watch in secret from her mother. Pearl sees opportunities to break through and escape a life she doesn’t deserve…or does she?
From the beginning of the film, Pearl is unbalanced. She murders a duck in the film’s first act in a shocking sequence. She tells the projectionist that she wishes her parents died so she could finally get out. While often holding back from her true thoughts, was this darkness still present in Pearl? Maybe her mother was protecting the world from the monster that lurks deep within Pearl. In a shocking and intense argument, Pearl’s mother even tells her daughter that she has seen everything she has done in private and is afraid of her.
Mia Goth’s performance as Pearl is one of the best characterizations of horror this year, if not in decades. She shows glimmers of sunlight while frolicking in the barn and in imaginary sequences on stage. Her smile is warm and inviting, but also hides something. pearl in X is completely unbalanced and terrifying from the start.
However, seeing her as that girl just trying to get out of an emotionally draining home makes her a tragic character. She ventures closer to the brutality and admits to loving the feeling of killing in a nearly seven-minute monologue. But what binds his older character to his younger self is this loss of hope. Pearl’s hope died when she didn’t land the audition and was told she wasn’t good enough, validating her mother’s sneers.
Management of Ti West
Ti West evolved as a director in just two miraculously released films in the same year. Pearl, just like West’s masterful x, presents long sequences of anxiety and tension. But also beautiful sequences with sophisticated camera movements and transitions. He allows his characters to be in the moment and let the audience absorb their expressions. pearl could have been made in the early days of cinema, just like X could have been made in the 70s. The soundtrack of his last film is orchestral and plays quite well on the action. However, the nice use of colorization makes all the images on screen pop, even the reds.
just like x, this film is beautifully shot, edited and photographed. Cinematographer Elliot Rockett worked on both films from West’s script and gave each its own aesthetic reflecting the time period in which it is set.
Questions and speculations about Pearl
As this scenario expands, more questions arise. At the end of x, audiences asked what could have driven Pearl to such a violent and evil lifestyle, and if she was still in that mindset. After viewing Pearl, the public has the same question… but not from Pearl. Her husband, Howard, was an accomplice and part of the malevolence in West’s first film X.
However, Howard is abroad in this latest film and returns home to find out the aftermath of Pearl’s disasters. He sees her smiling in a disturbing elongated hold. What could have made him stay with her? Did she tell him everything that happened and that she actually only cheated on him once? Perhaps, from the start, he tried to protect the world from her, just like his parents did.
Ti West continues the story with a sequel to X entitled MaXXXine, which is to follow the protagonist of the first film after the massacre on Pearl’s estate. According to the recently released trailer, it will be set in 1980s Hollywood. The film is currently in production and no release date is confirmed.