Culture / Film

Scream queen Mia Goth is a malevolent Snow White figure in new A24 horror ‘Pearl’

a24 pearl

Every villain has an origin story and like most bad girls born before WWI, Pearl just wanted to be a star. In the new trailer for another A24 horror, we see Pearl pursue this dream by any bloody means necessary.

Pearl is a prequel to X

If that farmhouse looks familiar, it's because it is. Simply titled Pearl, the film serves as a prequel to X, a gory horror from A24 that follows a crew of sex workers and porn stars who are murdered by the owner of the Texan ranch they're staying on – think Texas Chainsaw Massacre. Released earlier in March, what we didn't know at the time was that Ti West had filmed a prequel back-to-back while filming the original on location in New Zealand.

Who has been cast?

For those who followed closely, you'll know that Mia Goth starred as the film's lead Maxine, and also as the creepy farmer's wife, Pearl, who just wanted to get her rocks off and turned violent when she couldn't. Although we'd forgive you if you didn't pick up on this, as Goth was rendered unrecognisable by prosthetics. In any case, she's reprising her role as Pearl and she is deliciously ambitious and wicked.

Considering the film is set 61 years prior to X, you won't find any of the same actors involved this time around. Instead, playing the younger version of Pearl's husband Howard is David Corenswet of Hollywood fame. Joining him is Matthew Sunderland, Tandi Wright and Emma Jenkins-Purro.

What is the plot of Pearl?

Set during the tail end of WWI in 1918, scream queen Mia Goth brings a youthful Pearl to life. When we comes across her in Pearl, she's caring for her immobile and non-responsive father, and is being watched dutifully by what we assume to be the manager of the boarding house she's living at. When an opportunity arises in the local community for one young girl to become a star, Pearl is adamant that it'll be her, no matter the cost.

Where was more Paul Thomas Anderson, Pearl has a Disney-sheen redolent of Snow White with its heightened melodrama and moody colour palette. Of course, it's much more gory than either of these, and we see Pearl on the brink of murder in almost every scene.

Is there a release date?

With a script co-written by Ti West and Mia Goth, and with Kid Cudi as well as Sam Levinson and his partner Alice onboard as producers, you could say we're eager to strap in and watch Pearl. At the moment, a release date has not yet been set, although we know Pearl will premiere at Venice Film Festival 2022. So, there's that, I guess.

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