‘Pearl’ gives thrilling backstory to ‘X’

In March of 2022, director Ti West released “X,” a slasher film that was set in the 70s , and was an ode to independent filmmaking of the time. It follows a group of filmmakers who set out to make an adult movie in rural Texas. The group unknowingly stumbles upon a farm of killer chaos. Starring Mia Goth in a dual role as final girl Maxine and savage slasher Pearl, “X” was a horror highlight of the year. If you saw “X” in theaters and stayed for the post credit scene, you were treated to the teaser trailer of “Pearl,” a prequel that was set to star Mia Goth as she reprises the role of the titular killer. With Goth’s performance of Maxine being highly praised, fans and critics were excited to see what “Pearl” entailed, and it did not disappoint. Set in 1918 in the mist of World War I and the Spanish influenza pandemic, we meet the younger version of our main character Pearl. She lives on her German-immigrant parents’ farm, and her husband is away at war. At first, she appears to be an innocent young woman, but the film quickly addresses that something is very wrong with her. Pearl is an aspiring dancer who we get to see slowly descend into madness. She desperately wants to change her current situation and leave her farm, and will shows that she will do anything to achieve this. While its sequel “X” had a lot more gruesomeness to it, “Pearl” does not. It is a horror movie no doubt, but plays out as a psychological drama. Near the end of the film, Goth gives a sixminute monologue that further delves into the character’s madness. It is a scene that will find you sympathizing with a character who you know has a body count. “Pearl” is a movie that I recommend everyone put on their watchlist. It was beyond fascinating to watch the backstory of a character that I was already familiar with, and to see it be done so well. While Mia Goth gives a stellar performance as Pearl, clearly showing her acting range is massive, the rest of the cast is just as amazing. Just like “X,” at the end of the theatrical release was a teaser trailer for the next installment in the X universe titled “MaXXXine.” With Ti West and Mia Goth teaming up again, the excitement for the next installment is gearing up. With “X” and “Pearl” already under their belts, fans know they will deliver.