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Martin Scorsese Praises Ti West’s ‘Pearl’

By Amanda Caroline  •  September 20, 2022  •  33

Triwer – “Ti West's movies have a kind of energy that is so rare these days, powered by a pure, undiluted love for cinema.”

Pearl has finally become a star in her new self-titled prequel. The Ti West film and second part of his X trilogy is taking the horror community by storm. Both genre fans and critics alike can’t stop praising this fever dream tragedy, and this now includes legendary filmmaker Martin Scorsese, who has nothing but praise for everyone’s new favorite cinematic serial killer. Reported exclusively by Slash Film, Scorsese sent his review straight to Pearl’s studio A24.

The famous director’s review reads as followed:

"Ti West's movies have a kind of energy that is so rare these days, powered by a pure, undiluted love for cinema. You feel it in every frame. A prequel to 'X' made in a diametrically opposite cinematic register (think 50s Scope color melodramas), 'Pearl' makes for a wild, mesmerizing, deeply — and I mean deeply — disturbing 102 minutes. West and his muse and creative partner Mia Goth really know how to toy with their audience ... before they plunge the knife into our chests and start twisting. I was enthralled, then disturbed, then so unsettled that I had trouble getting to sleep. But I couldn't stop watching."

These are the kind of validating moments that connect our favorite filmmakers to just us average movie lovers. Like Slash Film mentions in their article, directors are just like us, and they definitely know a good film when they see one. While it’s a funny thought that the director of such dark classics like Taxi Driver, Goodfellas, and The Irishman, couldn’t sleep because of how much Pearl affected him, he’s right on the money. This brilliant prequel was like if you combined The Wizard of Oz, Psycho, and The Texas Chain Saw Massacre with a fantastically blood-soaked blender. Whether it was Mia Goth’s Oscar worthy second killing spree as Pearl, West’s beautifully hellish technicolor backdrop, or the relatable themes of the broken “American Dream” and the dangers of both isolation and sexual repression, this film was an unforgettably dreadful cinematic experience.

Goth and West craft such a timely, horrifically eerie, film that smartly doesn’t repeat the tricks of X. Like Scorsese alludes too in his own review, while X was a love letter to grindhouse terrors of the 70s and 80s, Pearl goes the opposite direction and celebrates the era of technicolor that drenched 50s classics like Singing in the Rain in endless wonder. The only difference between films like Singing in the Rain or Wizard of Oz and Pearl, is this Psycho inspired journey asks what if those happy-go-lucky stories were horror movies? What if those American Dreams became twisted in dark tragedies. Especially when Pearl’s gloves come off in the final 20 minutes, you are anxiously glued to your chair with only your traumatized sweat holding you in place.

Scorsese has made headlines recently because of his controversial Marvel opinions, but these comments should more than put the legendary filmmaker in the good graces of horror fans everywhere. Like Scorsese himself, there’s truly no one like West working in the industry today. The way he combines real world horror themes with genre bending scares is truly groundbreaking. Especially in X and Pearl, but hopefully this new-found praise for the director can lead to people going back to his past amazing filmography which includes underrated gems like The House of the Devil and The Innkeepers. Also, here’s hoping Scorsese’s comments are a good sign both Goth and Pearl overall have a shot of being nominated at the Oscars. The award show has famously not been too kind to the horror genre over the years.

Pearl is in theaters now, and you can read Slash Film’s full article about Scorsese’s praise on their website.