The wonderful hit horror movie from A24 just got an addition to its storyline with this disturbing, yet grand prequel. “X” was a great introduction to the lives of the world that surrounds the horror within it. It’s obvious that the introduction was necessary, as the prequel perfectly displays the mania that started it all.
The horror movie that started it all was about a group of adult filmmakers that stop in rural Texas to shoot at a farmer’s house. They find that the owners of the farm, an elderly couple, continue to become more and more ominous from the beginning of the film to the end.
As the movie progresses, we see the elderly couple become more violent and horrific in their treatment of the filmmakers. Pearl, the elderly woman, is the purveyor of violence throughout the film due to her immense jealousy. She wants to be young again, something that is reflected in her violent actions toward the visitors.
This is something that is easily explained by the prequel, in which we see the backstory to the violence that we see in “X.” Pearl (Mia Goth) is a holistically evil character that is fueled by self-interest. However, the backstory reveals that she acts out of jealousy, something that is revealed in the prior film.
Pearl is a deeply flawed character, and it is revealed that she is fueled by jealousy and the desire to get away from the farm. Everyone in her early life made it impossible for her to leave the farm that she was raised on. This desire to escape fuels the rampage that ensues in both movies, but it explains the reason that the jealousy she feels in “X” leads her to commit so much bloodshed.
This prequel delves deep into the mind and psyche of Pearl. She is a reckless killer and this is evident in “X,” but the prequel gives the reasoning behind her actions. This isn’t a justification by any means for her actions, actually quite the opposite, but it does allow us to see the mind of Pearl. When we’re able to see the character holistically, we’re able to understand why actions happen.
The prequel does a better job of portraying the setting than its predecessor. This is evident by the more complete storytelling and more artistic filming. The incredible story behind the antagonist is incredibly well-told through the artistic expression within the film.
The entire movie is filmed like an old-timey film. The incredible story is filmed and edited like the movies that are played within the movie. This adds to the atmosphere that is created within the overall film. The pre-depression era setting is inflated by the way that the overall movie is edited.
Not only did the setting make the film more disturbing and brilliant, but it also added to the overall ambiance that makes that film believable. The 1920s were a time of distinct change unlike any other and it is perhaps the most perfect setting of this story. “Pearl” isn’t a time period piece but it is distinctly empowered and upheld by its setting.
The masterclass performance by Mia Goth in this film is distinctly noticeable as she transitions from her previous role as Maxine Minx in “X” to now the character’s ultimate villain, Pearl. Goth plays each character distinctly differently.
She plays Pearl in “X” as well, but this version of her is much more demented than her younger self in the prequel. Goth perfectly switches between a down-on-her-luck actress in the adult film industry to a naive farm girl that can’t control her rage. Goth portrays both distinctly well and in very different lights.
“Pearl” is an incredible story that perfectly explains the violent rage that is seen in its predecessor, “X.” This film gives a great backstory and introduction to the wonderful film that audiences enjoyed in the summer. Goth has delivered yet again in this role to provide a beautiful insight into the mind of an all-time great villain.