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Kid Cudi and Jenna Ortega’s Horror Film X Is Getting A Surprise Prequel And We Saw Footage

Owen Campbell, Brittany Snow, Mia Goth, Scott Mescudi, and Jenna Ortega carry equipment through a field in X.
(Image credit: a24)

Warning: minor spoilers for X are in play. If you want to go in cold, and you absolutely should, head back out and seek out CinemaBlend’s twist-free coverage.

Critics who were present for last night’s SXSW premiere of writer/director Ti West’s X is still reeling from what they saw, with the first reactions to the film now out in the world. A blood soaked surprise that blends sex, scares, and sympathy, the movie is bound to please horror fans through every twist and turn. However, the twists just keep on coming, as it’s now been announced that the Kid Cudi and Jenna Ortega starring ensemble slasher is getting a surprise prequel. What’s even better is the movie’s further along than you’d think, and we’ve already seen the first footage! 

Wait, There’s A Secret X Prequel?

Announced through both an early morning press release, as well as at the first SXSW screening, X’s story isn’t quite over. Shot “in secret,” and presumably during the same schedule that produced this weekend’s upcoming horror movie, this new installment is focused on one of Mia Goth’s mysterious dual roles. What’s even better is, if you go to see the first X movie this weekend, you’ll get to see footage from this mysterious follow-up. 

Which leads us to the further details that our own Sean O’Connell uncovered, as he was on hand for the X premiere last night. If you’re really and truthfully trying to escape spoilers, and you’ve read this far out of curiosity, this is the point of no return. We say this, because as it turns out, the Mia Goth character that X’s prequel is going to follow might not be the one you’d expect. So if you want to read more about this chilling thriller without getting spoiled, head to our official review, or any of the other twist-free coverage we have here at CinemaBlend. 

Pearl sits in bed with Maxine in X.

(Image credit: a24)

Introducing Pearl - The Secret X Prequel

Following the SXSW premiere of X, director Ti West told the gathered crowd that he had a surprise for them. One last reveal that would conclude the roller coaster ride he’d just taken the audience on. The lights in the theater went down and the movie screen at the Stateside in Austin lit up with new footage. 

The time starts in 1979 – the year that X takes place – but we begin to spin in reverse… all the way to the early 1900s. A young woman is arriving at what looks to be a brand new version of the farmhouse that contained all of the horrors shown in X. That young woman is Mia Goth, reprising her role of Pearl in a much younger form for this prequel story. 

The footage shows Pearl moving around the farm, tending to animals but also taking care of an elderly family member. This person (which could be her mother or her father), is confined to a wheelchair, and there is a moment where Pearl wheels the person to the edge of the dock… and we see our alligator friend from X. The prequel trailer labels the film Pearl, and promises to be “coming soon.”

Without going too deep into the details that make Pearl a natural fit into the world of X, it looks like the backstory to Pearl’s youth is about to become even more detailed. Giving us bits and pieces of what happened throughout X’s methodically paced story, fans who will be left wanting more after the finale won’t have to wait as long as one might expect. Judging how well the film went over at last night’s festival debut, it might be a candidate for one of the best horror films of the year

Though there’s no release date for Pearl, Ti West’s return to filmmaking is almost upon the public at large. If you’ve somehow stuck it out through all of this potential spoilage, know that there’s plenty left to discover in X, which opens only in theaters this weekend. That’s only the beginning of the 2022 movie releases, a prequel to the sorts of thrills that await in the weeks and months to come. Don’t forget to also keep an eye out for our continuing coverage of this year’s SXSW festival; as much like that Nic Cage superfan that got a phone call from the man himself, we don’t know what excitement will crop up next. 

CinemaBlend's James Bond (expert). Also versed in Large Scale Aggressors, time travel, and Guillermo del Toro. He fights for The User.