Pearl, directed by T. West and starring Mia Guth, is a prequel to another popular horror movie this year, X. These two films form a trilogy, which will be completed the following year with the third film, MaXXXine. Stay with Zumji and Pearl’s horror movie review.
Pearl answers our questions about X’s eccentric and psychotic character. An evil old woman with strange tendencies, played by Mia Gath with heavy make-up. Shahkhiti, whose destructive behavior in the film X spoke of repressed desires and aspirations – especially of a youth taken hostage. While producing X, T-West and Mia Guth wrote a script that provided the background story for the film’s main villain. The script was originally intended to help Gath better understand his character, but ended up being a prequel to X.
While “X” deals with nostalgia for lost youth and latent intergenerational revulsion, “Pearl” jumps forward half a century in time to reflect the fear of an uncertain future.
X was praised by both audiences and critics for its ability to reproduce a genre of horror cinema. But Pearl is on a different path than X in terms of aesthetics and style. A film in which ironic and grotesque elements are more prominent and deviates from the usual patterns of horror cinema. From the very beginning, Pearl, inspired by classic American cinema, presents us with a world that, at first glance, has nothing in common with the disturbing atmosphere of horror films.
As a result, the extreme violence that erupts here from the film’s story is even stranger than the violence of the second act of X, and although it is predictable, it is more unexpected. Shocking violence that gives Pearl a grotesque and even disgusting quality. Although it is better to have seen X before watching Pearl, it is not necessary because Pearl creates its own independent world.
While X deals with longing for lost youth and hidden intergenerational revulsion, Pearl jumps forward half a century in time to reflect the fear of an unknown future resulting from a youth taken hostage. Little did the unsuspecting youths from all over X-film know that the farm they were going to shoot in would be their killing ground. where their demented elderly hosts, Pearl and her husband Howard, mutilate these unruly youths. Now with this prequel we learn that Pearl’s destructive tendencies and her vengeful personality come from a distant past. The story of Pearl takes place 61 years before the events of X and in the same remote farm that was the center of the events of that film. The time is 1918 and in the midst of the First World War and the outbreak of the Spanish flu. where young Pearl lives on a rural farm with her domineering mother Ruth and sickly father who is apparently suffering from the effects of the flu.
In the following, parts of the film’s story are mentioned
Ruth treats Pearl with great severity and bigotry and is very concerned about the spread of the disease. He does not allow Pearl to leave except to get medicine for her father, fearing that she will bring the disease home with her. Pearl’s husband, Howard (the old man from X-Men), has gone off to war years ago, and Pearl doesn’t even know if he’s alive. In addition to taking care of household and farm work, Pearl has to take care of her father who has lost the ability to speak and move.
She dreams of becoming a dancer and moving to Europe. But her mother, as a German immigrant, cannot allow her daughter to pursue such an impossible dream. Pearl has no friends except some animals in their farm. The animals he named after his favorite movie stars are the only spectators of his performances. Missing living in this small world – a world that keeps getting smaller and smaller for her – Pearl spends her nights dreaming of becoming a star.
From the very beginning, Pearl, inspired by classic American cinema, presents us with a world that, at first glance, has nothing in common with the disturbing atmosphere of horror films.
Pearl’s decision to leave the farm becomes stronger when she meets a handsome apparatchik. He, who seems to be pursuing negative motives, offers Pearl that he can take her to Paris with him. Pearl thinks that the time has finally come for her dream to come true and she can make it to the silver screen. Also, some time later, when his sister-in-law announces a dance audition, he decides to participate in it, confident that he will definitely win.
Of course, from the very beginning of the film, Pearl sometimes does things that make us doubt her sanity. For example, in the very first moments of the film, he kills a goose with wicked glee to give it to his alligator (the alligator that also appears in X). But yet at the same time as we fear him (this is a horror movie after all) we sympathize with him. A character that despite his strange tendencies, we like to see him succeed.
If in X we saw the juxtaposition of horror and erotic cinema of the 70s and the intersection of the old and new West, in Pearl it is the juxtaposition of the simple and magical cinematic world of the 20s with the later horror cinema that creates the inconsistent world of the film.
Just as Pearl and Maxine (the two characters in X, both portrayed by Mia Gath) were kind of fraternal, Pearl is X’s twin. Maxine’s character in X, like Pearl here, dreams of fame. Actually, in Pearl and X, T. West tells two almost similar stories about two characters in two different time periods and with two different cinematic styles. The young and passionate Maxine in X-ray lives Pearl’s lost youth in this film. In both films, we deal with these juxtapositions and doubles in some way. In fact, T-West Jahan creates both of these films based on a set of incompatible and sometimes contradictory dualities.
If in X we saw the juxtaposition of the horror and erotic cinema of the 70s and the intersection of the old and new West, in Pearl it is the juxtaposition of the simple and magical world of the 20s (musical films and early melodramas) with the horror cinema that followed (the horror cinema of the 70s). later and formats such as slasher) that create the inconsistent world of the film. In fact, T. West’s film project, passing through various genres, brings together two film worlds far from each other, the result of which is a delirious horror comedy that in some places even approaches a crazy melodrama.
As if to narrate the impossible dream of a young girl in the 20s and the bloody intersection of the apparently clean Hollywood world of those years and the harsh reality around, this coexistence is an aesthetic necessity. In fact, T. West, inspired by the world of films such as The Wizard of Oz in the context of the horror genre, does not embody a Hollywood dream but an eerie nightmare. However, this is the story of a young girl who follows an impossible dream. A film that begins with the mood of the beloved classics, but it is not long before the unruly force of the film drags the film into a disturbing madness, and finally, in a brilliant sequence of several minutes at the end of the film, it marks a melodramatic empathy. It’s no wonder that the film ends with a close-up of Mia Guth’s grin, embodying madness and pain.
Although the world of Pearl looks similar to the exploitation films of the seventies, it is paradoxically at the same time a tribute to old Hollywood and its technicolor aesthetics. This is why West portrays Pearl’s dreams as her encounter with the wonder of cinema. Like when he is thrilled to see the actors dancing on the screen in a movie and imagines himself with them. But when Pearl sees her dreams out of reach, madness overcomes her and as a result, the world of the film changes completely. The result of such a bold fusion is an ironic film that can be called a terrifying nightmare with a technicolor aesthetic.
Mia Guth portrays the simplicity, innocence, mania and terrifying madness of Pearl’s character with exemplary elegance. A character who sometimes seems funny, empathetic and scary at the same time
Of course, this anachronistic quality of the film (like the horror invasion of the 70s into the cinema of the 20s) can be seen throughout it. The film is based on a nostalgic aesthetic, but contains elements from the contemporary world. For example, seeing characters wearing cloth masks for fear of catching the Spanish flu immediately brings us to today’s world (or even hints at the specter of war in contemporary Europe). On the other hand, Pearl’s dream of becoming a star represents her longing for freedom. His obsession with dance stems from his desire to escape. The passion here finds a contemporary resonance in the face of the external threat (influenza).
Taking inspiration from the world of films such as The Wizard of Oz in the context of the horror genre, T-West embodies not a Hollywood dream but an eerie nightmare.
Considering that Perl and X were both released in the same year and have a lot in common, it seems inevitable to compare them: Is Perl or X better? Despite their similarities, the two films have fundamental differences from each other. For example, the origin of the horror in X is somewhat more unknown and unexpected, but the nightmarish atmosphere of Pearl, which arises from the contrast between the raw fantasies of its central character and the harsh reality of the surroundings, is not so ambiguous and even sometimes overexplained.
Compared to X, Pearl has a simpler plot and a more focused narrative, and there are no additional and scattered details in it. Part of this is because Pearl is considered a character-driven film compared to X. We are with Pearl and her inner feelings from the beginning to the end of the film. Even as horror and death enter the film’s universe, West takes a more restrained approach to X, allowing us to explore more of Pearl’s inner self and the depth of her desires than anything else. Of course, this issue, on the other hand, may cause the audience who went to Pearl’s Palace expecting to see a slasher, to be disappointed. This stems from West’s interest in his main character, resulting in a foreboding and haunting portrait. However, Perl and X should be considered side by side. In fact, we have to wait for the third part of this trilogy for a more detailed examination of the world that West has created.
Mia Guth portrays the simplicity, innocence, mania and terrifying madness of Pearl’s character with exemplary elegance. A character who sometimes seems funny, empathetic and scary at the same time. His five-minute monologue in the dialogue sequence with his sister-in-law, in which he reveals his darkest innermost secrets, is a testament to his abilities. Gath’s performance as Pearl is one of the best we’ve ever seen in a horror movie.
Pearl tells the story of a beautiful young girl who hides a mad desire beneath her outward innocence. A girl whose fate, as we saw in X, will be absurd and sad. In Pearl, T. West narrates the story of a troubled mind, which is drawn to madness in the shocking contrast between a dream world and a nightmarish reality.