Movie review: “Pearl”


“Pearl” ended with actress Mia Goth’s (Pearl) intense smile that lasted two minutes while the credits rolled. Graphic by: Summer Williams

Summer Williams and Ace Rico

 A24’s newest film, “Pearl,” is a colorful slasher full of thrills and questionable morals

The release of “X” earlier this year, the first slasher film in its riveting three-part film series, left fans of Ti West wanting more. On Sept. 16, the next anticipated film in said twisted trilogy, “Pearl,” was released. “Pearl” is set in 1918, taking place 60 years before the events of “X.”  The movie focuses on the life of a woman named Pearl, one of the characters from the first film, “X.” 

Pearl is a young girl sick of the isolated farm life her family has established in rural Texas during the Spanish flu outbreak. Pearl tends to the animals and her ailing father under the bitter and overbearing watch of her devout mother, Ruth. Pearl is filled with dreams of becoming a dancer and living the glamorous Hollywood life. In pursuit of her dreams, she demonstrates her passion and determination by doing whatever is needed to accomplish the “life she deserves,” and by “anything,” we mean anything. Throughout the movie, Pearl goes on a murderous rampage fueled by her delusions that she cannot become a star unless everyone is out of her way. 

In a bright, colorful “Wizard Of Oz”-esque film, Mia Goth plays young Pearl with outstanding acting. Mia Goth’s character as a whole is brilliantly complex and will likely leave viewers with conflicting emotions. This is also true for Goth’s castmate Tandi Wright’s character, Ruth, who is the mother of Pearl. Ruth is a hardworking farmer and mother who is deep in denial of her immense dissatisfaction with the life she has been given. Ruth feels as though her daughter Pearl is immature and needs to be humbled. Both actresses show great chemistry through their conflicts, making “Pearl” a truly entertaining and conflicting film to watch.

Pearl’s signature color, red, is seen throughout the movie. Photo by: Summer Williams

Sofia S’gro ‘23 said, “After watching the movie, I did feel a little bad for her [Pearl] and how she didn’t get to follow her dreams.”

In a GQ interview, Ti West said, “Existential things are just relatable to everybody.” Ti West uses existential fears in “Pearl” to make the audience see aspects of themselves in the main character [Pearl].

Mia Goth’s acting as Pearl was both thought-provoking and piteous. Her desire to be seen and recognized for her talent is what drives her. The admirable ambition and existential fear she has make her both relatable and piteous.

Though not everyone sympathizes with the main character, Pearl others feel that her immaturity makes her desires only to be seen as childlike tantrums. 

Jade Wright ’23 said, “To be honest, I didn’t really have any sympathy for her, like yeah, she didn’t get to live her dreams, but she didn’t have to murder.’’

In our opinion, “Pearl” is a very well-made film, and I look forward to the last installment in the trilogy. Pearl is also a great representation of how many young minds feel as though they need to leave the environment in which they grew up in order to be their own person. But that definitely doesn’t justify Pearl’s actions throughout the film, proving that characters can be both relatable and amoral.