Mia Goth, Pearl, and the modern scream queen

you are from the west pearl premiered at the 79th Venice Film Festival and the Toronto International Film Festival to critical acclaim. West’s well-received ’70s slasher prequel X, pearl features Mia Goth as the main character. Having already played the old version in X, Goth continues to show his versatility as a horror icon, delivering another compelling and engaging performance with even more bite. Rewarded for their consistency and effort, Goth and West will get their trilogy, as A24 announced a third and seemingly final film in the series, MaXXXine.

It’s impressive and honestly encouraging that a singular director like West has the chance to helm his own trilogy. However, MaXXXineThe announcement of is more of a triumph for Mia Goth, whose performance almost single-handedly carried the trilogy to come. With an expressive face and a unique gift for portraying decision disguised as naivety, Goth is a horror icon in the making. Of marrow bone and A cure of well-being at sighs and pearl, Goth’s ability to lead horror is almost unparalleled. His work is raw and honest, vulnerable yet intense, seductive yet somewhat uncomfortable. Goth is the epitome of the modern horror icon, and she knows it.

The scream queen has gone through many iterations. She was the damsel in distress in the early days of horror before turning into a cautionary tale as the genre evolved. The 70s and 80s saw her become the ultimate paragon of virtue at the height of the slasher frenzy, eventually morphing into something different, a trope that constantly defied expectations. Today, directors, screenwriters and actresses are beginning to find new sides to the Scream Queen label, refusing to limit or frame it. The scream queen has more bite than ever and isn’t afraid to wear her teeth. Accompanied by fellow actresses like Anya Taylor-Joy, Samara Weaving, Jenna Ortega, Naomi Watts and the Farmiga sisters, Goth spearheads the Scream Queen’s revolution, proving she has more than there is. appears.

The queen of the scream then

Laurie catches a needle on Halloween.

Horror has existed since the birth of cinema. Due to its nature, the genre usually included a female lead, who fell prey to the story’s antagonist, whether a monster or a human killer. By Greta Schröder in the years 1922 Nosferatus to Julie Adams in 1954 Black Lagoon Creature, the Scream Queen was ubiquitous in the genre. She generally played a wise and weak character, completely at the mercy of the monster. Even when she showed more agency, like Gloria Stuart’s Flora in The invisible Man or Gwen by Evelyn Ankers in The werewolfshe was still no match for the monster.

As the genre evolved, so did the scream queen. Hitchcock allowed her more dynamism, even if she remained submissive to the main character of the story. The scream queen was often a companion, rarely the star. She supported the protagonist and acted as something he could lose, a kind of Achilles heel. While the main man had to be the hero, the scream queen could only settle for the role of sidekick. Hitchcock’s scream queens – Grace Kelly, Kim Novak, Joan Fontaine, Tippi Hedren, Janet Leigh – were always beautiful and glamorous, but the facades only covered the secrets within. Hitchcock introduced complexity to the horror lead actress, allowing the scream queen more freedom, even as she remained firmly in her corner.

The 70s and 80s brought a new concept of what a leading lady of horror should be. While other genres have embraced sexual experimentation, horror has become surprisingly timid. The Queen of Scream at its center, the Last Daughter, has rejected revolution, remaining instead pure and virginal. Other women around her could be libertine or experimental, but they all paid dearly for their curiosity. The Last Girl was almost a prude, and the slasher genre was her domain. Jamie Lee Curtis could be the ultimate last girl thanks to his now-iconic portrayal of Laurie Strode in John Carpenter Halloween.

The film’s success spawned countless pale imitations, few with the lingering sense of dread of the original. Indeed, the late ’80s and early ’90s nearly led the slasher to self-implosion by seemingly stretching it beyond its breaking point. On the brink of irrelevance, the genre received a much-deserved boost from Wes Craven’s 1996 subversive, ultra-meta masterpiece, Screama film that redefined the role of the scream queen.

With Sydney Prescott, the Scream Queen has become an active participant in history. No longer a victim of circumstance, the scream queen playing the last girl was now fiery and capable, often standing up to the killer on her own terms. She still needed help and remained a bit prudish, but she was no longer an innocent wallflower. Characters like Buffy Summers and Sarah Bailey have continued to explore the limits of the Last Girl, helping the Scream Queen reach unprecedented new heights.

The scream queen now

Thomasin looks at the camera with a satisfied expression on her face in The Witch.

The new millennium opened with a slew of cheap horror remakes that did nothing to move the genre forward. The title of scream queen was somewhat devalued as 90s icons like Neve Campbell, Jennifer Tilly and Sarah Michelle Gellar ventured into other genres. In fairness, the 2000s were a barren time for the scream queen camp, with few worthy additions to the lineup. Poor Danielle Harris, whose title has been achieved since childhood with Halloween 4 and 5was among the only scream queens to work on the 2000s, almost single-handedly carrying the mark.

However, the 2010s brought some interesting changes. Shifting views and a slew of risk-taking filmmakers meant the Scream Queens could be more experimental than ever. The supernatural horror of Robert Eggers in 2015 The witch introduced nineteen-year-old Anya Taylor-Joy as Thomasin, an annoying young girl and the first of many game-changing female characters in horror.

The modern Scream Queen is active and directly involved in her salvation. Brave but confused and scared by the threat that stalks her, the modern scream queen embraces tradition but welcomes change. She will scream and cry but not cower in dark corners, acknowledging danger but facing it head-on, preparing for the worst while hoping for the best. Film and television have given us incredible and compelling examples, with actresses leaving their heart, soul and some vocal cords in their performances. Think of Sara Paulson in american horror storyVera Farmiga in Conspiracy series, Naomi Watts in funny gamesToni Collette in HereditaryLupita Nyong’o in WeMia Wasikowska in Driverand Betty Gabriel in get out.

These actresses constantly deliver increasingly complex and modulated performances in a genre that does not always allow for nuance. They bring a sense of legitimacy to their work and, therefore, to their films, reaching beyond the perceived boundaries of their genre. While the Scream Queen label once carried a certain niche quality that kept it on the periphery of mainstream recognition, it’s now a label used to describe some of today’s best and hardest-working actresses and their brave and genre-defying performances.

The Scream Queen as a Monster

Mia Goth sits in front of a mirror in X.

The idea of ​​the female character as a monster is not new. The cinema has played with it since 1935 Bride of Frankenstein featuring Elsa Lanchester’s iconic portrayal of the titular character. movies like Dracula’s Daughter, The Invisible Womanand wolf of london capitalized on the success of previous projects to deliver gender-specific versions of many of their established classics. The hagsploitation subgenre of the 60s and 70s used older movie icons from Hollywood’s Golden Age, bashing them for the perverse pleasures of the public.

Yet the real and most revolutionary change for the leading horror actress has come in the new millennium. The past few years have shown that filmmakers and actresses are more willing to explore the darker side of the Last Girl, pushing her to the edge of obscurity. In modern cinema, the queen does not scream out of fear but out of rage.

It’s no surprise that today’s scream queen is both a hero and a villain. A24’s best horror movies are spearheading this trend, with mid summeris Florence Pugh, Hereditaryby Toni Colette, and Lambit’s Noomi Rapace. Then there’s Mia Goth, whose roles in West’s trilogy are some of the best examples of this new trend. Like Maxine in X, Goth is a heroine eager to explore the darkness without succumbing to it. As Pearl in the film of the same name, she is a sympathetic ingenue whose journey of self-discovery leads down a disastrous path. Goth includes the rage of the modern scream queen; she is not innocent but resourceful and ready to get her hands dirty as much as necessary. She is no longer here to survive; she wants to win. If that makes her a monster, so be it.

X | Official HD Trailer | A24

Looking back, that change was a long time coming. For years, the Scream Queen played the wallflower, ultimate victim of circumstances. Even when she had the power to bring down her enemies, like Sissy Spacek’s Carrie White, she was still a tragic figure, and audiences still pitied her even though they feared her as well. But the modern scream queen commands respect. We don’t feel sorry for her, no matter how tough things get; we know that she will overcome the pain and the difficulties. Her ways may be bloody, but she has earned the right to use them.

With pearl, West and Goth continue their task of reshaping the role of the scream queen in cinema, and thank goodness for that. Embodying the horror genre, the Scream Queen is more powerful and terrifying than ever. Play with it and find out. She is frightening and beautiful, frail but capable, haunting and slightly sinister. The modern scream queen might end her film covered in blood from head to toe and smiling at the camera, but she would still hold the hearts of the audience. She can kill, maim, and exact bloody revenge on those who wrong her, and we will always cheer her on. For so long, the Queen of Screams was a tragic figure, and we rejoiced in her torture. Now is the time for her to strike back, and she comes for the kill.

You can look X across major digital platforms, including First video. pearl opens in theaters nationwide on September 16.

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