PEARL

★★★★

MIA GOTH IS A STAR!

THEATRICAL REVIEW
By Chris Dos Santos
14th March 2023

Release dates are one of the most important things for a film to succeed. Take last year's 'Bros', the first major studio same-sex rom-com released in the United States in September... not June during Pride month. Even worse, in Australia, it was released not only Halloween week but within days of it coming out on VOD over in the States. When a film comes out a late in Australia, it's almost always dead on arrival. We have two reasons: ticket prices are high and so with the cost of living people are going to the movies less and less, and if people really want to see something a high-quality version is easily accessible online, they will just watch it that way. Weird Al literally told Australia to pirate his biopic last November because at that time it wasn't accessible, only in this March did it finally appear on Paramount+ to little fanfare because the people who really wanted to see it had done so and everyone else had forgotten about it.

'Pearl' was one of the most talked-about films of 2022 due to lines from the film trending on TikTok. Because the film hit the U.S. back in September - over 7 months ago - it has passed its prime and this free advertising on social media that could have boosted international ticket sales for a lower-budget title has been lost. The TikTok sound was trending with younger users of the app, A.K.A. the people who have a very good understanding on how to find films online. Couple this with 'Pearl' getting a release alongside a superhero title and, more hurtful to its potential box office, a week after fellow horror flick 'Scream VI', so it will be interesting what will be taken away from its already probably low box office.

SWITCH: 'PEARL' TRAILER

Set 61 years before 'X', Pearl (Mia Goth, 'Suspiria', 'A Cure for Wellness') is a young aspiring actress who has to take care of her dad (Matthew Sunderland, 'The Nightingale', 'The Strangler') and suffers constant abuse from her mum (Tandi Wright, 'Jack the Giant Slayer', 'Daffodils'). She escapes to the cinemas often and learns a lot about moving pictures from the local projectionist (David Corenswet, 'Look Both Ways', TV's 'Hollywood'). But as we know from 'X', 'Pearl' has a killer instinct, and we start to see those deadly thoughts take centre stage.

'X' was this surprise little throwback to the 70s and dirty, sexy horror. With a budget of US$1 million it went on to make US$15 million, a small box office but on that tiny budget a success. In what felt like an announcement coming out of nowhere, director Ti West said this was the start of a trilogy with the second feature (for American audiences) coming out later the same year as 'X'. Still to come is a direct sequel to 'X', 'MaXXXine', which plans to focus on Mia Goth's character, Maxine, from that film.

Mia Goth is once again a force of nature. She is the new face of horror, and absolutely eats up everything she is given.

Mia Goth is once again a force of nature. She is the new face of horror, and absolutely eats up everything she is given. 'Pearl' is a horror icon and that's all thanks to Goth, from her face to her line delivery it's a performance you just can't help but be drawn into.

With 'X' we had the backdrop of young amateur filmmakers in the 70s, along with the explosion of the adult film industry and the snuff film. From what has been revealed, 'MaXXXine' looks to be set in 80s and its backdrop will be the birth of video stores and VHS in the home. For 'Pearl', we are at the start of it all with the birth of the cinema industry and how exciting and new that time was. This makes the look of 'Pearl' so delightful not just in the set and costume design but the editing and cinematography of the film is a massive callback to the Golden Age of Hollywood. With the 'X' trilogy, we could have one the best love letters to film history and the slasher genre.

'Pearl' is another surprise from West and Goth, further cementing both as horror staples. If you loved 'X', you've got to see this on the big screen and fall head over heels for this new horror classic.

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