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Image for 00 Pearl Ti West X Prequel Hero.jpg

Pearl: Ti West and Mia Goth Made a Surprise Prequel to X

8/10/2022 • 4 min read

With the level of media scrutiny given to directors and actors, a secret movie, especially from a recognizable filmmaker, is almost impossible to make. And yet that is exactly what TI West did last year. He shot that one new movie, but two.

The first of these two new movies came out earlier this year: the slasher film called X. Now, we’ve learned that West also wrote and directed PEARL at the same time. PEARL stars X leading lady Mia Goth, who also co-wrote this new movie. It is a prequel to X but can certainly stand on its own as well, as it follows a troubled young woman whose dreams of stardom clash with her mundane rural existence.

The first trailer for the movie is fantastic. Check it out below and we'll tell you how this secret movie came to be.

The Bloody Pearl Trailer


Wow, that's a wild trailer! PEARL looks entirely like its own movie — it's clear that you don't need to see X to understand what's going on here — but it also has a vibe that fits quite well with West and Goth's previous movie.

And while we thought that X went pretty off the rails, it seems like that might only have been a warm-up course for PEARL. Horror fans are lucky to have such a wild ride in store.

When Can We See Pearl?

The fact that PEARL was made and prepped for release in secret also means that we do not have long to wait. A24 will release PEARL exclusively in movie theatres on September 16 in the United States. (It will also appear at the Venice Film Festival a couple of weeks later.)

The X Prequel Elements

This section is for those who have seen X and/or aren't concerned about a few things being spoiled. (We won't talk about the ending of X, don't worry!)

PEARL takes place on the same property where the main action of X occurred and helps explain how it ended up in the shape it was in when the previous movie opened. More to the point, this movie gives us the full history of Pearl and her family — or at least one twisted version of it. The trailer for PEARL suggests that the movie deals in some level of fantasy. So we wonder how much of the story will be objectively real.

We know that PEARL is set in 1918 when World War I was raging (see that brief look at a soldier seeming to explode in the trailer) and the farmhouse operated as a boarding home. Pearl is stuck at home as she dreams of a glamorous life as a movie star. Some of the footage in the trailer is made to look like vivid Technicolor film footage. Technicolor debuted right around when this movie is set, even if the best-known version of the process didn't arrive until the 1930s.

Not that we require perfect historical fidelity here. It's a good way to distinguish between some of the character's dreams and ambitions and her workaday normal life.

Mia Goth's Big Moment

We've never had any doubt about Mia Goth's talent, and movies like HIGH LIFE, SUSPIRIA, and A CURE FOR WELLNESS have showcased her skills. But X brought her to new audiences, and PEARL looks set to expand her reach. It's also her first writing credit, which is exciting! Following PEARL, Mia Goth will appear in INFINITY POOL, the new movie from Brandon Cronenberg. (Yep, the son of CRIMES OF THE FUTURE filmmaker David Cronenberg.)

Alongside Goth, PEARL features David Corenswet as a young Howard, previously seen in X, played by Stephen. Tandi Wright, Matthew Sunderland, and Emma Jenkins-Purro are all in the movie, too.


PEARL opens on September 16.


All images courtesy of A24.

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