Pearl is a film that is a prequel of a film called X that was also released in 2022. Directed by Ti West, Pearl is the basic origin story of the character Pearl, the old lady in the film X.

Pearl (Mia Goth) was isolated on a farm, trying to help to take care of her infirm and paralyzed father (Matthew Sunderland) while under the thumb of her controlling and paranoid mother Ruth (Tandi Wright). Pearl’s husband Howard was serving overseas during World War I, and Pearl dreamed of escaping from the farm and making it big in the movie industry.

However, as things begin to unravel for Pearl, her dark tendencies begin to shine through the façade she had in place.

Mia Goth is completely brilliant here. She portrayed the slow descent into madness perfectly and she created a tension on the screen where you just were never sure what she was about to do. The final scene of the movie (no spoilers, of course) is one of the creepiest sections of a movie this year.

There was also one of the year’s greatest monologue when Pearl was speaking to her sister-in-law, Mitzi (Emma Jenkins-Purro). She was truly frightening during this scene as you see the mental chasm forming across her mind.

Some of the kills in this slasher film are really well executed and create a tense atmosphere of uncertainty. All of that is simply elevated even more by the performance of Mia Goth. She gave, seriously, one of the top performances of 2022.

I enjoyed X, but I will admit to having to refresh my memory about what happened in it. I do not think I will need a refresher on Pearl. This was one more excellent horror film from 2022.

4.1 stars

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