Horrorfest 2022 Presents: Pearl (2022, Ti West)


It’s a shame that Mia Goth won’t get an Oscar nomination for Pearl considering how the Academy ignores horror movies. Too bad, cause she definitely deserves it. The movie is really good too, maybe even great, yet none of this works without Goth breathing life into Pearl. You sympathize with the character at first, then get freaked out by her, and then you are completely scared by her. This is a brave performance, used in a movie that almost feels like The Wizard of Oz meets The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, only not quite.

Even though this prequel is that rare good one it doesn’t quite address certain questions that both it and X raised, although maybe West just didn’t feel like filling in all the gaps. I do enjoy how he went from covering 1970s indie cinema to classic Hollywood, which is pretty cool. I also cannot wait for the third installment, which will be set in the 1980s. I’m sure that one is going to be just as gory and insane as the other two in the franchise.

Look ma, it’s Pearl!

Horrorfest 2017 Presents: A Cure For Wellness (2016, Gore Verbinski )


Maybe I would have liked this movie better if a different lead actor had been chosen, seeing as this is the second movie where I have found Dane DeHaan to be incredibly dull (the other film being the insanely mediocre Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets from 2017). Or if the film had not featured Jason Isaacs sporting a really awful German accent-at least I think it was German. I don’t really care.

However this movie has some gorgeous visuals, rather nice creepy moments, and Mia Goth was really good as Hannah, the mysterious girl that DeHaan’s Lockhart keeps running into. Sadly one of the major twists was revealed in one of the film’s trailers, so thanks Hollywood, and I kind of guessed one of the other twists, so perhaps giving this film points for its mysterious elements is a bad exercise.

Despite being frustrated with some of its aspects, I do not find A Cure For Wellness to be a poor film, just one that could have been more properly executed. Unfortunately my Horrorfests always have that one movie, or multiple movies, that are a mixed bag. I could not resist a trick or treat pun in here somewhere.

I will say the castle spa treatment facility was really awesome, and I think that Verbinski was going for a Mario Bava, surrealistic type of film that maybe would have worked better decades ago. Verbinski has talent, yet he is often prone to abusing the willingness of Hollywood executives to give him free reign, not to mention sizable budgets. Sometimes, in the case of the Pirates of the Caribbean movies, it works. Other times, such as A Cure For Wellness, not so much. Oh well. I do hope that Goth receives more acting opportunities, and perhaps some day I will enjoy a DeHaan performance, although I sincerely doubt that will happen anytime soon.

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