The Student News Site of Oakmont High School

Norse Notes

The Student News Site of Oakmont High School

Norse Notes

The Student News Site of Oakmont High School

Norse Notes

Sorry, there are no polls available at the moment.

Articles for Horror: “Pearl”

A review and plot summary of the 2022 movie “Pearl.”
Movie poster for the 2022 movie “Pearl.” PC: The Movie Database

Who was Pearl?

Pearl was the outcome of pure insanity and obsessive ambition. Pearl teeters between her  insanity and her sympathy-inducing dreams for a better life. Pearl’s aspiration to become a movie star stemmed from her hellish home life and her acuity of invisibility to the world. 

What was “Pearl?”

In 1918, during the Spanish Flu pandemic and World War I, Pearl lived with her German immigrant parents in the absence of her husband, Howard, who was serving overseas. Pearl’s father was infirm and paralyzed, and her mother emphasized Pearl’s importance of caring for him and helping maintain their farm. 

In spite of her mother’s disapproval, Pearl was yearning for a more exciting life and became obsessed with the films she saw at the local cinema, and aspired to become a chorus girl. Pearl indulged in abusing liquid morphine that was provided to her father to handle his pain.

At the cinema, Pearl met a young projectionist who took a liking to her. The conversation she had with him didn’t leave her mind on her bike ride home, so she stopped at a cornfield and began dancing with a scarecrow, fantasizing about the projectionist. She later snuck out of the house to see the projectionist, who encouraged Pearl to pursue her dreams while she was still young, and suggested she strive for a career in Europe. Pearl remarked that she could not abandon her family and that she wished they were dead.

Pearl’s younger sister-in-law, Mitzy, told her about an audition being held to receive new dancers for a traveling troupe, which Pearl foresaw as a way out of her home life. When her mother discovered a pamphlet Pearl took from the cinema, she confronted her at dinner. After Pearl’s mother criticized her for only focusing solely on her wants and needs, she told Pearl that she saw a malevolence in Pearl that terrified her and that she considered Pearl a “failure.” The argument turned physical when Pearl shoved her mother against the kitchen fireplace, which set her dress on fire, resulting in her mother suffering life-threatening burns. Pearl watched as her mother’s dress burned and quickly doused the flames, which left her mother unconscious. Pearl dragged her mother, who was still alive, into the basement, and left her father seated in the kitchen. She left in a hurry to the cinema to get away from the scene, where she stayed with the projectionist.

In the morning, the projectionist drove Pearl back to the farm so she could prepare for the audition. He became unnerved when he noticed a maggot-infested roasted pig on the porch and was further troubled by Pearl’s odd behavior. When he attempted to leave, Pearl erupted into a fit of rage, afraid she was again being abandoned. As he tried to drive away, she stabbed him to death with a pitchfork before pushing his car with his corpse still inside of it into a pond, where an alligator she named Theda ate his remains. She rushed back to the house in time to get ready for her audition and dressed herself in one of her mother’s gowns and her father in a suit before she smothered him to death, justifying it as a mercy killing.

Pearl arrived at the church where the audition was being held and was met by Mitzy, who insisted she go before her due to her nerves. Pearl gave a dance performance she felt would win the talent scouts over, but was distraught when they denied her for not being blonde. Mitzy accompanied Pearl home and attempted to calm her. In the kitchen, Pearl made a confession to Mitzy about her resentment toward Howard, Pearl saw her marriage to Howard as a way to escape her parents but felt despair when he insisted the two remain on her family’s farm. She continued confessing to murdering farm animals before taking the lives of her parents and the projectionist, which she regretted especially in the case of her father. She finished by saying that she loves Howard, that being loved is all she really wants, and that she’ll try to make the farm a home if that’s what he wants. Shocked, Mitzy attempted to leave, as she cautiously assured Pearl she would not expose their conversation. Pearl pushed Mitzy to confess that she was chosen for the troupe by the talent scouts, then watched her leave. After watching for a few seconds, she slowly followed Mitzy onto the porch and grabbed an ax. Pearl chases her down the driveway and hacks and kills her with an ax.

Pearl dismembered Mitzy’s body and fed her corpse to Theda, before going into the basement and lying with her dead mother, telling her she loves her. Having determined that her mother is correct, Pearl decides to correct what she has done by providing Howard with a comfortable home when he returns from combat. The next morning, Howard arrives unexpectedly. In the kitchen, he is horrified to find the dead bodies of Pearl’s parents seated at the dining table around the rotting pig. Pearl greets him with a protracted, pained expression of joy.

My Review

Pearl is a unique masterpiece of a movie. Pearl’s mood swings and expressions throughout the movie are absolutely mesmerizing. The movie is a character study that takes its time developing Pearl, watching her sanity unravel as the film progresses. The scene where she confesses everything she has done to Mitzy is a scene that I consider perfect. The visible switch to feeling remorseful halfway through the speech was mesmerizing.  

Leave a Comment
More to Discover
About the Contributor
Autumn Castle
Autumn Castle, Copy Editor
Autumn is a senior and Copy Editor for the 23-24 school year. She loves anything horror-related, along with Jennifer Tilly.

Comments (0)

Norse Notes intends for this area to be used to foster thought-provoking discussions. Comments are must adhere to our standards and to be respectful and constructive. We do not permit the use of foul language, profanity, attacks on individuals, or the use of language that could be interpreted as libelous. All comments are reviewed and need to be reviewed before each comment is published. Norse Notes does not allow anonymous comments and requires each person's first and last name along with a valid email address. Email addresses are not displayed, but will be used to confirm comments.
All Norse Notes Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *