In Irish cinemas now, Pearl was a long-time coming to local screens. Horror guru Ti West originally released throwback slasher X and prequel Pearl back-to-back in 2022, with sequel MaXXXine already ready to go to.
The film arrived at last as a midnight movie selection at the 2023 Dublin International Film Festival, releasing wide across the island a few weeks later.
In Texas, 1918, a young Pearl works on her family farm, while her husband Howard is away serving in WW1. Pearl dreams of fame and fortune, rather than the dreary life of caring for her infirm father and being under the thumb of her domineering mother. Overlooked, underestimated, exploited and ignored, Pearl takes to acts of violence, her world turning into a technicolour nightmare, a Scarlett scene of a young woman Gone With the Fairies.
The film is dreamily lurid and barely lucid, the visuals of melodrama pairing nicely with the narrative of slasher shlock. The performance of Mia Goth is exceptional, a tour-de-force of desperation, a woman daring to desire more, crushingly conscious of how miserable she is, in dire need of a dream. Her third act monologue is one of the movie moments of the year, which needs to be seen.
Pearl may be neglectful, selfish, unserious. She may, allegedly, be a murderer. But is crushing a dream not a worse crime? Are Pearl’s actions self defense for her self esteem? We carried out a comprehensive analysis of the film, to uncover any and all unjustified crimes committed by Pearl in Pearl.
The following is a shockingly reveletory list of everything Pearl did wrong:
Pearl is in cinemas now.