Pearl, the prequel to X, is released directly on VOD (review)

Pearl, the prequel to X, is released directly on VOD (review)

To see if only for the enraged performance of Mia Goth, impressive as a murderous Texan farmer.

Discovering X – the Ti West film released last year, on the set of seventies porn which turned into a bloodbath – we did not understand why Mia Goth played two roles in it: the sexy star of said porn and the old crazy lady who lived on the farm where the filming took place. Ti West’s idea, in reality, was to use the talents of Mia Goth again, stripped of the aging latex, in a prequel recounting the youth of this demented woman named Pearl.

So here we are in Texas, in 1918, while the First World War is raging in distant Europe and the population is worried about the Spanish flu epidemic. Pearl, a young and pretty farmer, dreams of becoming a star, but her dreams of glory and escape are thwarted by the very rigorous education imposed on her by her family who emigrated from Germany. The film observes how the young girl, driven mad by puritanism and loneliness, goes into psychotic and murderous tendrils.

If the horror scenes here are treated in the mode of grotesque and outrageous discrepancy – the film bathing moreover in garish colors of chromo and Technicolor winks at the Wizard of Oz – this irony is balanced by the total empathy of the authors (Mia Goth and Ti West wrote the screenplay together) for their character. The fusion of these two opposing tones creates a fairly powerful electroshock effect, reinforced by the total investment of Mia Goth, unleashed, as convincing in the register of candor as that of pure rage, and who asserts herself for many bon (after her roles with Lars von Trier, Claire Denis or Luca Guadagnino) as the heiress of the great hallucinated heroines of 70s cinema, somewhere between Shelley Duvall and Sissy Spacek.

Pearlby Ti West, with Mia Goth, David Corenswet… Available on VOD, notably on Première Max.

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