2022 has been a good year for horror, and it’s not even over yet. One of the biggest genre films to date has been the critically acclaimed Ti West slasher X. The movie stars Mia Goth (Emma2020), Jenna Ortega (Scream, 2022), Martin Henderson (virgin river, 2019-), Brittany Snow (someone great, 2019), Owen Campbell (bodybroker, 2021), Stephen Ure (mortal engines, 2018) and Scott Mescudi – aka Kid Cudi (don’t look up 2021).
X follows a group making an adult film on a rural Texas farm in the ’70s. However, they soon become the butt of the anger of the farm’s elderly owners as they suffer a cruel fate one by one.
The film was shot in New Zealand and is directed and written by Ti West, known for his previous films The Sacrament (2013) and In a valley of violence (2016). Released in March of this year, it received rave reviews from audiences and critics alike, who praised its homage to 20th-century slasher films and the performances of its actresses. Little did people know that a prequel titled pearl was secretly shot back to back X
Pearl: The plot
Set during World War I in 1918, the film traces the origins of the once-young Pearl, the older villain of X The official synopsis reads:
“Pearl feels trapped on the remote family farm and is tasked with caring for her ailing, comatose father while under the strict micromanagement of her cruel mother. Craving the glamorous life she portrayed in the films, her ambitions, temptations and oppressions collide, creating the villain she feared she would become.”
The events take place in the booth shown in Xwhich was once a boarding house during the war.
Pearl: The cast & crew
The film’s cast is stacked the same way as its predecessor. Along with the returning Mia Goth, who previously appeared in X played both last girl Max and older villain Pearl, cast will be David Corenswet (Hollywood, 2020), Tandi Wright (the returned one, 2011-2014), Matthew Sunderland (The unknown, 2022) and Emma Jenkins-Purro (The Brokenwood Mysteries, 2021). Goth also lent their talent to write the prequel alongside West, but they weren’t sure if it would get done.
Goth tells the Interviewed by the LA Times:
“We didn’t know what was going to happen”. “At least we figured if nothing comes of it, we’ll write the script and it can serve as a great backstory for Pearl and my intuition for the character.”
West interfered in this development pearl was basically a shot in the dark and that his “plan was to write it… and see if I can convince A24 that we should do two films.” West also served as editor and producer on the film. Next to him produce Jacob Jaffke (body, body, body2022), Kevin Turen (The unbearable weight of massive talent 2022) and Harrison Kreiss (Euphoria, 2019-). The film is also being produced by production company A24 and Little Lamb Productions.
A24 is known for its independent films and series. They have also acted in several horror films such as The witch (2016), It comes at night (2017), Hereditary (2018), midsummer (2019), lamb (2021) and last men (2022). Needless to say, they know a thing or two about horror.
Pearl: release date
The film will celebrate its world premiere at the 79th Venice International Film Festival in September this year. Theatrical release is September 16, 2022.
Pearl: Everything else
The upcoming prequel isn’t the only thing in the works for writer-director West. He also announced in 2022 that he was working on a screenplay for the third film, which would be chronologically based on the events of X West said that like the previous one, the film will have individual, unique cinematography, telling Bloody Disgusting:
“In the way X is influenced by, say, 1970s independent horror filmmaking and Americana cinema, pearl is influenced by a very different era of filmmaking…[and the third one] will be influenced by a different kind of cinema.”
pearl will have a cinematic style similar to that of the melodramatic and technicolor films, like mary poppins, all the time.
The possible sequel will explore the continuing idea of how cinema affects society. West will reveal how the release of home video has changed the lives of many. In an interview with Indiewire, he said he’s trying to “build a world out of all of this like people are doing these days,” no doubt referring to the many popular heroic sagas and franchises. However, the author emphasized that he also wanted to make films that can be viewed both independently and as part of a whole, i.e. that “complement” one another without relying on one another. Discussing his plans for future films, the director said, “You can’t make a slasher movie without a few sequels.”