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Pearl: Ti West’s Prequel to A24 Horror Movie “X”

Ti West’s slasher movie “X” introduced us to an elderly couple, Howard and Pearl, that becomes the hosts to a group of young actors and filmmakers looking to make an adult movie in rural Texas. The elderly couple is then disclosed to be a very sick and disturbed duo with a knack for killing people. 

Pearl, who turns up to be the main villain of the movie, is an elderly woman obsessed with youth and with her glory days as a professional dancer when she was considered beautiful. However, this obsession has turned her into a demented person who is jealous of young people. 

In the movie, Pearl is played by Mia Goth, who also portrays Maxine, a young actress who becomes the last girl, a necessary element in this genre of movies. The film took heavy inspiration from 1970s horror classics like “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre” and “Halloween” from 1978. 

Ti West’s prequel sets out to dive deep into Pearl’s backstory. “I’m trying to build a world out of all this, like people do these days,” West had said in an interview. “You can’t make a slasher movie without a bunch of sequels.” 

West co-wrote Pearl with Mia Goth. He said in an interview that Pearl, a movie he compares to Douglas Sirk’s melodramas, Mary Poppins, and a demented Disney movie, “sets up an idea for the third movie, which has a different vibe altogether.” So, this new film marks the start of a possible “X” franchise involving West and A24. 

What we know about Pearl so far: 

Since Pearl was at least in her twenties during the First World War, she was most likely born in the 1890s, placing her in her eighties during “X”.

In her youth, Pearl was a professional dancer. She married Howard shortly before America entered World War I in 1917. Her husband left to serve in the war, leaving her alone for some time. Much later, Howard would serve in World War II, leaving Pearl alone again.

The trailer for Pearl implies that Pearl killed people as early as 1918, while Howard was away, although the circumstances are not known.

Sometime before the beginning of X, Pearl killed a man who was living in the boarding house on the farm. He would later be found by one of the young filmmakers, strung up in the basement of their home. We know that Pearl has kept his body around to sexually abuse it. At one point in the movie, she also implies that she has killed others in this way.

Pearl is scheduled to be released in the United States on September 16, 2022, by A24.

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