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Review | Pearl – Mia Goth should be nominated for an Oscar for playing “the female version of the Joker” in TERROR



The frustration of a life ostracized by anonymity turns into a contemplative bloodbath at the hands of Ti West in his horror X: The Mark of Death. To the tunes of Friday the 13th, under a solar photography and a hypersexualization of its characters, the conceptual terror is a freshness within the genre, from which the aesthetics of the 80s emanate in a trait that, much more than frightening, cares about swallow us up. the bloodlust of their deeds. A succession of misfortune-driven murders of a lonely lady who lives at the cost of dreams never realized, the original is an observation of human beings in their most primitive state possible – far from social life and far from reason logic that governs humanity.

Pearl: An Origin Story ‘X’ arrives here as a pointless but undeniably spectacular origin story. Explaining who the fucking villain was that made our stomachs turn with such graphic deaths, the prequel to “X: The Mark of Death” isn’t that classic jumpscare horror, but it’s certainly an impeccable essay on a psychotic break. The reality of Pearl (Mia Goth) could be infuriating. With her husband at the front, she spends her days back at her parents’ house, where she has to take care of her father – who remains in a vegetative state – while being constantly humiliated and abused by her mother. Between the chores on the farm and the palliative care that takes her energy, she dreams of a life as a star on stage and in the cinema. Always between the purest and hallucinating fantasy and a harsh reality never intended, she tries to trace her paths to success, fame and plastic beauty. What they didn’t tell you was that in an arid country, dreams born in the countryside don’t tend to blossom.

And under a very technicolor aesthetic, reminiscent of the format of films from the 50s and 60s, West delivers another brilliant horror that goes far beyond the combo of scares that normally awaits us in a slasher horror. Pearl is indeed a chaotic spiral of a young woman adrift of her own existence, who perishes in a mediocre life where her identity and personality are smothered and succumbed to the pressures of an aggressive, callous and indifferent matriarch. But regardless of the family background that brought Pearl to us, there’s no denying that the wickedness already inhabited her, as West is keen to show in his devious way of sacrificing helpless animals. And that build is key to turning the old Pearl of ‘X’ into a cruel, monstrous creature in the eyes of the characters and, of course, the audience.

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Bridging the two films in a natural and almost imperceptible way, Pearl is a derivative that walks on its own legs and at various points nothing feels like “X”. With a somewhat metalinguistic approach and a different narrative development, the feature film focuses on the self-destructive journey of a young woman who becomes mad in the face of her reality and the impossibility of her dreams. Bringing a powerful performance from Mia Goth, the feature once again shows the actress’ versatility in navigating three distinct characters in the same franchise: Maxine – adult film actress; the dying old Pearl; and young Pearl – a girl between innocence and hysterical madness that leads her on an epiphany of murder.

Capturing in its second act with a gore to dazzle the eyes of the hungriest of slashers, Pearl still makes room for a touch of humor and plays with the emotional swings of its protagonist, transforming it into a small mixture between horror and sarcasm of an acid and piquant humor. Violent but not terrifying, Ti West’s latest film is something of a villain’s journey. And while it doesn’t add anything really new to X: The Mark of Death, Pearl is the genre of conceptual horror that’s so meticulously done, it deserves to be enjoyed even as a one-of-a-kind experience on a young woman faced with the worst version of herself.

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