“Pearl” is a grand disturbing experience unlike no other

Eduardo Martinez, Reporter

Part two of the “X” trilogy is “Pearl,” a prequel to the film “X,” directed by Ti West, starring Mia Goth, David Corenswet, Emma Jenkins-Purro, Matthew Sunderland and Tandi Wright. The film gives insight on the original murder in the first film of the trilogy with Pearl’s declining mental state and her humble beginnings as a farm girl while paying homage to old Hollywood films such as “Wizard of Oz,” “Psycho” and “What ever happened to a Baby Jane.”

The movie wears its homages on its sleeve, echoing events that occurred from each of these films. These range from scarecrows and burning witches to cradling one’s mother and nightmare sequences of dancing and imprisonment. The film captures the grand scale of 1930s cinema with technicolor film and wonderful cinematography and sound to match the aesthetic. 

The story is about Pearl (Goth) who desires to become famous as a dancer and leave her family’s farm away from her cruel mother (Wright) and ill father (Sunderland) while promising to make sure nothing stands in her way. Or else.

Pearl takes a different direction from “X” its predecessor not only by its inspirations from 1930s to 1970s media, but by its theme on creatives incapable of leaving their hometowns and failing to follow their dreams. It is the antithesis to the original “X”.

While the film is a delight on the eye, audiences that are looking for a traditional slasher flick that they would have found in “X” will not find it here as “Pearl” is more so a film centers on the horror of being a teenage girl equal to films such as “Carrie,” “Teeth” and “Excision.” These films scares are less centered on the terror of the next murder or kill. Instead, they focus on the disturbance and uncanniness of events that occur and the mental state of the main lead.

Mia Goth is stellar in her performance as Pearl and is evocative of Shelly Duvall, the mother of “The Shining.” She will soon be reprising her role as Maxine in the next film of “X” franchise “Maxxxine.”

Overall, the movie provides a grand disturbing experience unlike no other and promises to satisfy audiences who are acquainted with the “X” franchise or not. You will never look at scarecrows the same again.