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The villain from 'X' gets an origin story in brutal trailer for Ti West's new A24 horror film 'Pearl'

This fall, learn the twisted origin story behind Ti West's X. 

By Matthew Jackson
Pearl Image

Last year, Ti West released his first horror film in nearly a decade with the slasher throwback X. When the film completed its opening weekend run to critical praise and enthusiastic audiences, West revealed that he'd actually made two horror films, including a prequel to X that would focus on the origin story of its villain. This fall, we'll finally get to see that story with Pearl, and you can check out the first trailer right now. 

Just a heads up: Some spoilers for X below, in case you haven't seen that one!

Starring Mia Goth in the title role, Pearl takes place decades before X, and follows the early life of the old woman who turned out to be the killer (also Goth, under heavy prosthetics) in the first film. In X, we learned that Pearl used to be a dancer, was once very beautiful, and longs to feel beautiful and special like she did back then. It's a dream she can never fully realize, so she acts out her feelings by murdering the young people who come to her farm, in the hope that she might absorb something of their youthful energy along the way. It's a terrifying, ultimately tragic story, and it had to start somewhere. 

In the Pearl trailer, we meet the young woman who once dreamed she had what it took to be a star, watching silent movies in between chores at the family farm, and certain she could have a better life if she could only get rid of her demanding, ailing family members. Fans of X will recognize the locations in the film immediately, and as the horror elements kick in, they'll also notice plenty of nods in the direction of the original film's kills, from alligators in the lake to pitchforks in the barn.

Check out the trailer below:

Along with the trailer, A24 also dropped a teaser poster for the film, featuring Goth in a red dress and a silhouette that calls to mind one of X's most memorable murders. 

Pearl Poster PRESS

With X, West and company used the same throwback energy the filmmaker brough to things like House of the Devil to deliver a slasher film in the 1970s style, complete with practical visual effects and modern themes that kept viewers engaged. With Pearl, West and Goth (who co-wrote the script) have a chance to do the same with something even further back in time, digging deeper into the desires and fears of a very dangerous woman, and the violent urges that launched her reign of terror. 

Pearl hits theaters Sept. 16, 2022. 

Looking for more scares in the meantime? Check out the best horror films streaming now on Peacock, including Sinister, Firestarter, You Should Have Left and more. Plus don't miss They/Them, dropping Aug. 5 on Peacock.