A Surprisingly Good Low Budget Slasher Film
Pearl, starring Mia Goth, is a surprisingly decent slasher film with a budget of only one million dollars.
Most thriller films focus purely on using horror, adrenaline rushes, or action sequences to engage the audience. However, once in a while, you’ll stumble upon a movie that is not only thrilling/scary but also astounding with its acting and emotional impact. Pearl, a riveting thriller picture directed by Ti West, stars Mia Goth, who gives a performance of a lifetime.
The film revolves around Pearl (played by Mia Goth), who lives on a farm with her mother and father. The story is set during WWI, and Pearl’s parents are German immigrants. Due to this, they are struggling financially as farmers and because Pearl’s father is immobile due to illness. Pearl aspires to be a great dancer and wants to perform on stage, but she has to help her mother take care of the household, which leaves her incredibly conflicted. The rest of the film follows Pearl slowly losing control and all the heinous acts she commits. The story is unique from other movie plots, but the mood changes and added suspense entirely elevate the film. While it starts quite normal/positive, the tone and mood completely transform into suspense and panic, taking the audience on an emotional rollercoaster.
While the cinematography and storyline are decent, Mia Goth's performance of a lifetime steals the show. The range of emotion she displays is only outmatched by her ability to switch from one to the other in a matter of seconds. And while throughout the film, she shows bursts of sadness followed by intense anger, the climactic monologue she delivers towards the end of the film takes her performance to a different level. While Mia carried most of the acting, it would be remiss not to mention the drama of Tandi Wright, who plays Pearl's mother, Ruth. The vindictiveness and bitterness she displays are intense and drive the film's entire first act.
The best way to describe Pearl, as a whole, is surprising. The film goes from calm in one moment to absolute terror in the next scene. One weakness, however, is how slow the beginning is. There isn’t enough action, but it’s mainly because the characters are slowly being introduced, and the world is being built. Mia Goth’s performance almost overpowered other minor flaws and completely captivated the viewer’s attention. It’s really shocking how a film with a one-million-dollar budget can produce more substance than the massive cash-grab blockbusters being released nowadays.
Raving Rating: 7.3