Trapped on her family's isolated farm, Pearl must tend to her ailing father under the bitter and overbearing watch of her devout mother. Lusting for a glamorous life like she's seen in the movies, Pearl finds her ambitions, temptations, and repressions all colliding in this origin story of X's iconic villain.
Director: Ti West
Cast: Mia Goth, David Corenswet, Tandi Wright, Matthew Sunderland, Emma Jenkins-Purro
Release Date: September 16, 2022
Rated R for some strong violence, gore, strong sexual content and graphic nudity.
Runtime: 1h 42m
Ti West's X was one of the biggest and most welcome surprises of the year. It was the first modern film to truly capture the feel of the original Texas Chainsaw Massacre before going on it's own path in the final act. Incredibly, West and Mia Goth plotted out, wrote and shot a prequel right after finishing up X. The speed of it all can make wonders if they would simply rehash the same material in a different time period but thankfully Pearl is very much it's own thing and stands on its own two feet. This entry is more of a character study that allows us to witness the gradual decent into madness the central character goes through. West's film is beautifully shot with plenty of nods and visual cues to classic filmmaking especially The Wizard of Oz even though I don't recall Dorothy dry humping the Scarecrow. The film's aesthetics are wonderful and the story's slow burn approach gives the audience more time to appreciate it and a particularly impressive performance from it's central star. Mia Goth turns in a simply amazing performance as the titular Pearl. She drives the film from the opening sequence straight through an incredible 10 minute monologue in the final act that should be shown in acting schools. Goth dominates the screen but she's aided by an equally impressive turn from Tandi Wright who plays Pearl's imposing and domineering mother. Wright and Goth share a wonderful sequence together that just sizzles with incredible energy as it builds to a fiery finale. West and Goth have truly delivered something special that somehow works with the original even though its very much something different and original.
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