Mia Goth and Ti West Spill on ‘Pearl,’ the Most Brutally Ambitious Villain of the Year
Keeping the plot of a film under wraps is hard enough work as it is in the age of constant surveillance—we already got a sizable chunk of Greta Gerwig’s upcoming Barbie film from candid set photos alone. But keeping a film’s entire existence a secret from the jump? That’s practically a lost art, fallen by the wayside after J.J. Abrams’ Cloverfield shocked audiences back in 2007—when an unnamed, undated, instantly viral teaser teed up the official trailer launch just weeks before the film’s premiere.
So when March’s SXSW premiere of Ti West’s bloody-brilliant slasher X ended with the reveal of a prequel film entitled Pearl—which would follow X’s lethal granny all the way back to the WWI era— it was practically a miracle that no one knew about it beforehand. What’s more, it wasn’t just an announcement: The film, which was shot back-to-back with X, was already gearing up for release. A teaser trailer graced audiences patient enough to linger into the last stretches of X’s credits.
Six months later, Pearl is tearing its way into theaters Friday. Where X was a grisly homage to both ’70s horror and retro porn, Pearl is a technicolor wallop to the gut. The film follows Pearl (a transcendent Mia Goth, reprising her role from X, just without the uncanny old-age makeup) in her early days on her family’s Texas farm, as she struggles against her mother’s cold German upbringing and sheltered religious beliefs. Pearl longs to escape to a greater destiny, just like the girls in the movies she’s forbidden to see.