Original title:Pearl
Director:Ti West
Running time:102 minutes
Release date:16 september 2022
Trapped on her family's isolated farm, Pearl must care for her ailing father under the authoritarian gaze of her devout mother. Eager to lead a glamorous life as she has seen in the movies, Pearl sees her ambitions limited... which she doesn't appreciate at all!

Mulder's Review

After X, we wondered if the director and writer could still create an event after such a success. However, Pearl surpasses X on several levels and imposes the actress Mia Goth not only as a very talented actress but also as a very gifted screenwriter. Her contribution to the screenplay is clearly visible on the screen and X and Pearl shot in a row differ on many points including the direction and the different inspirations and tributes. While X was a true declaration of love to the horror films of the 70's and 80's, Pearl wants to be a tribute to the films of the 20's and 30's and to musicals. Of course the film is again a violent and very effective horror film but the writers Ti West and Mia Goth take a lot of pleasure in blurring the lines and building the portrait of an unstable young woman who lives only by the cinema and who wants to leave the family farm to become an actress.

While the action of the film X took place in 1979, Pearl takes place in 1918. As the world war is ending in Europe, Pearl (Mia Goth) is a young woman going through a flu pandemic and living with her German immigrant parents on their Texas estate. Her husband Howard is off fighting the war in Europe. Pearl is a seemingly sane woman who turns out to be a truly unstable serial killer who takes great pleasure in killing an innocent animal as well as making her disabled father suffer. Pearl dreams of running away from the family estate and becoming a Hollywood actress. But things don't turn out the way she wants and she decides to take revenge on her parents as well as on those who took advantage of her.

From the very first scene of Pearl, which reminds us of the great Hollywood films of the 1930s, Pearl is a true love letter to cinema. While the global pandemic has brought the entire movie industry to a standstill, director Ti West places the action of his film in a time period in which people must also wear masks to go out as well as to the movies. This very representative idea of this film shows that the director wants to create a real psychological link with the spectators and thus reinforce the strong scenes of this film which turns out to have a rhythm more sustained than X. We also find here the famous pond of X with its hungry crocodile and fed with the different victims of Pearl.

Mia Goth already noticed in many supporting roles as in Everest (205), Suspiria (2018), Mayday (2021), Mayday (2021) seems to have found in Ti West the director who will be able to impose her as a leading actress and we must recognize that the success of this film owes him a lot. Whether it is a horrific scene, a dine in musical or more intimate moments, Mia Goth is just perfect in all the scenes of this film to the point that she should get without too much difficulty a nomination as best actress for the next Oscar ceremony.

While many horror sequels sorely lack the qualities present in the original film of their cinematic saga and only function to exploit the success obtained, Pearl wants to be different from X and despite being a prequel, director Ti West takes the risk of changing his approach to filmmaking and creating a universe that seems welcoming and that turns out to be a cruel world in which Pearl reveals an unrestrained and vengeful violence

Directed by Ti West
Written by Ti West, Mia Goth
Based on Characters by Ti West
Produced by Jacob Jaffke, Ti West, Kevin Turen, Harrison Kreiss
Starring Mia Goth, David Corenswet, Tandi Wright, Matthew Sunderland, Emma Jenkins-Purro
Cinematography : Eliot Rockett
Edited by Ti West
Music by Tyler Bates, Tim Williams
Production companies : Little Lamb, Mad Solar Productions
Distributed by A24
Release dates : September 3, 2022 (Venice), September 16, 2022 (United States)
Running time : 102 minutes

seen on October 28, 2022

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