Watch the chaotic trailer for Pearl, A24’s sequel to X

The unhinged follow up to Ti West and Mia Goth’s horny old people horror also has a premiere date.

by Tom George
26 July 2022, 2:31pm

Earlier this year we were treated to X, the deranged old people horror from Ti West and A24 — a slasher movie where a team of sex workers and porn filmmakers creating their next XXX movie on a Texas ranch are massacred by the aggressively evangelical elderly couple who live there. It was then later revealed that a sequel was secretly filmed back-to-back with the original film in New Zealand, called Pearl, an origin story for the villainous old lady with the same name. And though things have remained pretty tight-lipped around the sequel, the first trailer for the movie has now dropped and Pearl is giving strong if-Dorothy-in-The-Wizard-of-Oz-went-batshit vibes.

Set six decades prior to X, scream queen Mia Goth — who played a dual role both as the young, beautiful pornstar Max and wore wrinkled prosthetics to play Pearl — will be reprising her role as the latter (sans the wrinkles), whilst also taking on a bigger role behind the scenes. Ti West has said that while X was inspired by The Texas Chainsaw Massacre and the work of master of Italian horror Mario Bava, Pearl is more like a “demented Disney movie”, more melodramatic than the last and with a technicolour theme palette like Mary Poppins, inspired by the work of 1950s German filmmaker Douglas Sirk.

If it’s anything like the first instalment, Pearl is bound to be our next horny horror obsession. Here’s everything we know about the slasher movie, including the plot, new cast, trailer, release date and whether there will be any other movies in the franchise.  

What is the plot of Pearl? 

Set in 1918, in the midst of World War I, at the same cabin from the original movie, currently operating as a boarding house — Mia Goth plays the titular Pearl. In X, Pearl just wanted to feel sexy again and be dicked down by a himbo hunk (if she was alive today her anthem would be Lana Del Rey’s “Young and Beautiful”) but that led to her reacting in malevolent ways. In this prequel, she dreams of being a star but is limited by having to care for her immobile father. When the opportunity for one young girl in the village to become a star comes along, Pearl is seemingly ready to take it by any gory means necessary. 

Who from the cast of X is returning for Pearl? 

Seeing as the movie is set 61 years prior to the events of X, Mia Goth is the only actor returning to reprise their role. Although her impotent husband Howard will also be a character in the sequel, Stephen Ure, the actor who played him, will not be taking on the role of a young Howard. 

Who else is in the cast of Pearl? 

Young Howard will be played by David Corenswet who has previously been in a couple of Ryan Murphy vehicles, including a role as hot wannabe actor Jack in Hollywood. Alongside Mia and David are New Zealand actors Tandi Wright (Love and Monsters), Matthew Sunderland and Emma Jenkins-Purro, all in as yet undisclosed roles.

Who is behind the camera of Pearl? 

Horror aficionado Ti West is at the helm of this project produced by A24 and Little Lamb. Mia Goth also wrote the script along with Ti. Sam Levinson, creator of Euphoria, and his partner Alice, executive produced the movie along with Scott Mescudi (aka Kid Cudi) who had a starring role in the original.

Is there a trailer for Pearl?

Yes, the chaotic trailer shows Mia Goth’s Pearl and how similar, in terms of looks, personality and dreams, she was to Max — Mia’s other character in the first movie. The trailer also promises that the menacing crocodile in the lake which gave us heart palpitations in X will be returning for the sequel too. 

What is the release date for Pearl? 

Along with the trailer, it was also announced today that Pearl will premiere out of competition at the 79th Venice Film Festival along with the Harry Styles thriller Don’t Worry Darling. The film festival this year runs from 31 August to 10 September. As of yet, no wide release date has been announced but fingers crossed we’ll be able to see the movie in cinemas this fall.

Will there be further sequels to X and Pearl?

Ti West has said that he would like to turn the movies into a franchise that explores filmmaking’s effect on society. If X looked at independent films' impact and Pearl looked at Hollywood’s impact, who knows what the next instalments could be about — Onlyfans? Whatever it is, we pray to the horror Gods that we see more Mia Goth.

Follow i-D on Instagram and TikTok for more movie news.