From the first moments of teaser footage that debuted at the end of Ti West’s X in theaters, it was abundantly clear that prequel Pearl was going to be an entirely different sort of animal. That has only been made that much more obvious by the first trailer to the A24 slasher prequel, which you can see below. As director, West is clearly having the time of his life, making a shockingly different and satirical-looking new film.
Pearl stars none other than Mia Goth, who gave us a scintillating dual role in X, a film set on a dilapidated farm in the 1970s, where a crew of filmmakers is trying to shoot a pornographic film. However, they start turning up dead when they provoke the elderly couple living on the farm, particularly the ancient (but still very jealous) Pearl, who always dreamed of being a star. Pearl, meanwhile, rewinds the clock back to World War I in 1918, where a young Pearl (played by Goth) dreams of escaping the farm by going to Hollywood, only to have her family and locals stand in her way. Guess she’ll just have to colorfully dispatch them all, right?
Visually, one can’t miss how totally different Pearl looks from X, which was something of a 1970s grindhouse pastiche, with muted colors and great use of darkness. Pearl, on the other hand, is full of bright, Technicolor brilliance that evokes a much earlier era of American classical Hollywood filmmaking, which gives the violence more of an overtly comical tone, at least in the trailer. Whereas West has said that X was influenced by the likes of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre and Italian horror cinema of the era, Pearl has been referred to as something akin to “a demented Disney movie.” Look at the trailer below, full of song-and-dance numbers and quick shots of extreme gore and exploding soldiers, and you begin to get the idea.
Pearl could be this year’s surprise horror delight, and we’re certainly glad that West had the idea and managed to collaborate with Goth on the script in the midst of shooting X. Pearl is scheduled to hit theaters on Sept. 16, 2022, so check out the first trailer below.