As X finally hits theaters, Ti West’s film starring Mia Goth already has a prequel, Pearl!
Ti West is an honest craftsman. He likes genre cinema but never really makes unforgettable films. The Roost (2005), The House of the Devil (2009) or The Innkeepers (2011) did not score memoirs. his western, In a Valley of Violencewith all the same Ethan Hawke, Taissa Farmiga, Karen Gillan and John Travolta. was a public flop and a critical success.
With XWest returns to old school horror, more psychological than gore with weakened characters who fall in blood.
In 1979 Texas, Maxine Minx (Mia Goth), who aspires to become a porn actress, goes on a road trip with her boyfriend and producer Wayne Gilroy (Martin Henderson), actors Bobby-Lynne (Brittany Snow) and Jackson Hole (Scott Mescudi), director RJ Nichols (Owen Campbell) and his girlfriend Lorraine (Jenna Ortega). The purpose of the trip is to make a film for the booming video market. They decide to shoot on the property of an elderly local couple who don’t know what kind of film they’re making. It is then the beginning of a massacre of which they will be the victims.
While X manages to set a mood, it fails to capture the director’s obvious passion for stories of this type. Maxine’s character is charismatic, yes, but he doesn’t make a film. And that’s perhaps why Pearl doesn’t manage to go beyond the specifications either.
Tour immediately after X, Pearl is a prequel to the strange old woman character who was also played by Mia Goth. Ti West thought it was interesting to deepen this character by explaining how one becomes a psychopath. Direction therefore the 10s with Pearl.
In 1918, while the First World War is in progress, Pearl (Mia Goth) lives in a boarding house in the countryside. The young woman feels trapped and isolated on this family farm where she must take care of her sick and comatose father while supporting her cruel mother. Pearl dreams of a glamorous life and of being an actress.
Ti West understood that the obvious discrepancy between Pearl, who wants to be a recognized artist, the era and genre film can create a palpable mood. He then hijacks the aesthetics of the credits of the films of those years with borderline joyful music and shots typical of the comedies of yesteryear. It’s colorful, we like to enter this period film.
However, the film takes so long to build a character that we already know deranged that he loses a lot of energy. Despite the obvious efforts of Mia Goth, we feel a film that can go no further than the marked path of the origin story. Goth does tons of it, is borderline twitchy, and never manages to elevate the film.
Going more and more into horror, moving from human drama to psychological thriller, Pearl draws his character roughly. And these are the last minutes, falling in a gore that The Texas Chainsaw Massacre cannot denywho will catch up. Pearl will not create the surprise despite a perfect staging, editing, music.
After Pearl and X, Ti West and Mia Goth are shooting MaXXXinecontinuation of X where we will follow Maxine again.