I had been fairly ambivalent about 'X' when it was released. Knowing it was Ti West behind it didn't make me sit up and take notice either, truth be told. I was only bothering for Brittany Snow. Mia Goth was just a face I recognised, but had little or no real compunction to take any interest in.
And 'X' was exactly what it purported to be in my eyes - a slightly above average slasher with extra rumpy-pumpy for good measure, but really, nothing to write home about. Unless you were a Mia Goth fan. And I wasn't. I can't help but think she has 'a face like a bulldog licking shit off a thistle.' I don't know what it was, I just didn't like her doe-eyed empty vessel-ness. She reeked of clueless privilege, for some reason, I guess.
So when Pearl arrived, as a prequel to 'X', I was all about the eye rolls. Ti West at it again, clearly with a massive hard-on for Goth for some as yet inexplicable reason that I didn't have the foggiest idea about. Not until I sat through it, however, which threatened to be an arduous task at the outset. Not because it was anything other than riveting, however. The pace of it pained me.
Having got to the end and 'those' end credits, I really feel like I have been put through the ringer from beginning to end. I am rarely found open-mouthed in immersion with any film, but I have to admit that I was completely entranced with Pearl's story and the snarling, warped monster that Pearl slowly became. I don't think there can be any doubt that this is a stellar performance from Goth, even if I am not personally a fan of hers. She has greatly increased in my estimations and I will be counting the days until I get to see MaXXXine, which I can only imagine will be something of a come-down from this.
Highly recommended and one of only a few five-stars that is truly deserved this year so far.