What Pearl Adds to the Horror Legacy of The Wizard of Oz

in 2004, Bravo’s 100 Scariest Movie Moments ranked The Wizard of Oz at #86 on his countdown. Among the various figures of speech, Director Stuart Gordon and the Coors Light Twins agreed that the film gave many children nightmares. Before flying over the rainbow, a tornado whirls through the flat Kansas landscape. The spooky costumed flying monkeys gather in the sky to catch innocents. And there’s a shrill, cackling green witch who threatens to ruin the otherwise hopeful, whimsical story. It’s easy to see how the 1939 classic was able to create an enduring horror legacy. The 1939 film’s timeless status gives it fuel to set an insane world on fire. director Ti West‘s pearl (2022) uses elements of the 1939 classic to present a twisted homage. Judy garland‘s Dorothy has made friends on her magical journey. Mia Goth‘s Pearl destroys relationships as she wreaks havoc.


The Wizard of Oz greets the audience in a sepia-toned world with the iconic “main title” above the opening credits. The opening score too pearl (Tyler Bates and Tim Williams) is just as hopeful and romantic, inviting the audience into Pearl’s headspace. Barn doors slide open like theater curtains. Moments later, the lighting slips right into Pearl’s inner workings. Everything goes dark except for a spotlight overhead. Then her mother Ruth (Tandy Wright) bursts in and hurls her daughter back into a plain bedroom. It might take a moment ounce. After the house lands, Dorothy (Judy garland) steps outside, out of a sepia world and into the lush colors of Munchkinland. The transition is seamless, all in one take. For Pearl, the switch is just as important. Her mother or reality in general will always interfere with the girl’s ambitions.

Various popular characters from Oz are corrupted due to the emphasis on reality over fantasy. Director Ari Aster proclaimed his film midsummer be “The Wizard of Oz for perverts.” Hardly anyone knew what was coming in pearl. in the ouncescarecrow (Ray Bolger) sings “If I Only Had a Brain” while his skinny legs make him move like he’s trying to stand his ground on a waxed floor during an earthquake. The scarecrow that Pearl encounters has no brain or life. To her, the scarecrow is a sexual toy with bulging eyes and a top hat she wears on her own head.

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Many aspects of the wizard (Frank Morgan) is a projectionist in the theater (David Corenswet). The projectionist prides himself on living as a loafer and never settling in one place. Pearl adores this, mumbling that it sounds like a dream. “As long as I can’t wake up,” concludes the projectionist. Dreams, fantasy and the inevitable collapse of reality. He doesn’t have to promise Pearl anything, he’s already charmed her. But he keeps going. He shows Pearl the magical wonders of porn movies. Like the projectionist, the wizard’s fellow Kansas, Professor Marvel, is a drifter who pokes around in Dorothy’s purse to make him appear as a real fortuneteller. Like the magician, the projectionist is only a man. Dorothy attaches her only option for escaping Kansas to Marvel, then Oz to the Wizard. Pearl does too, hoping the projectionist will take her with him when he travels abroad. The wizard wasn’t particularly great or powerful, and neither is the projectionist: he falls victim to Pearl’s pitchfork when he discovers the girl is dangerous.

In the closing minutes, Pearl’s husband Howard (Alistair Sewell) comes back from the war just in time to see what’s for dinner. There is a somber sight of his dead in-laws leaning around the table. But it doesn’t shock him too much. Howard will remain by his wife’s side for many decades to come. This is none other than the cowardly lion (Bert Lahr), as someone who chooses to submit to Pearl’s dark impulses. Howard will continue to do so until his death in 1979 X (2022). He will help clean the corpses and catch new victims. Unlike the lion, he doesn’t deserve a Triple Cross medal for courage.

The Tin Man (Jack Haley) has its fair share of dark variations. in the pearlthe father of the title character (Matthew Sunderland) is caught in total body paralysis. Because of this, it turns him into a tin man who lost his oil can. “Are you still in there?” Pearl asks, poking his face like he’s looking at a human shell. Not one parent. She grabs his throat and chokes on his breathing. She lets go, but his eventual death is inevitable. Though he’s not as much a watchman as Uncle Henry (Charlie Grapewin), the two men avoid conflict at all costs. The difference is that Henry does this while he is able to do more to help his niece; Pearl’s father cannot do this as he suffers from terrible health conditions.

Pearl’s mother Ruth is a strict Aunt Em (Clara Blandick) and her daughter’s personal Wicked Witch of the West (Margaret Hamilton). Dinner with this family is never a fun experience. Early on, Ruth is gruff about the dinner table: “I won’t let you stray into foolish fantasies and hide from your responsibilities any longer. It’s a sign of weakness, and your father and I didn’t raise you to be weak.” This harsh message fuels friction between the two. Like a tornado sweeping across Kansas, bad weather makes for another dinner to hell. Lightning flashes wildly as Ruth verbally attacks Pearl. When Ruth is pushed too close to the fireplace, flames lash her dress, soon her entire body. The “witch” must be doused. Finding the obvious thing, Pearl pours boiling hot water from a saucepan over it. Ruth isn’t melting, she’s fatally burned. But how bad is she really?

This mom is at her wits end. She cries herself to sleep. Ruth explains that Pearl gets what she gets want is not important “make the best of what you have”. While Dorothy is overjoyed to learn this, Pearl despises it. “Maliciousness festers in you, I see it!” She tells her daughter. As much as Pearl aspires to be a pleasant girl like Dorothy, she just isn’t cut out for it. in the Return to Oz (1985), Dorothy (Fairuza Balk) insists she visited Oz, which ends up committing her to a psychiatric hospital. This young girl shouldn’t be undergoing a psychiatric evaluation – Pearl certainly should! Unlike Dorothy, Pearl has no one to turn to in either 1985 or 1939. She is selfish, so stuck in her own head that she uses people to boost herself and her confidence. When she loses her attention, she acts violently and recklessly.

The costuming makes Pearl’s blue jumpsuit look like Dorothy Gale’s blue gingham dress. The film quickly interrupts this. Pearl kills and feeds her own Toto a goose in the form of the faithful alligator Theda, who lives on the property. Pearl’s body count means Theda’s stomach won’t be empty anytime soon. At the end of the film, the wardrobe changes. Pearl chases her sister-in-law Mitsy (Emma Jenkins-Purro), with silver shoes from the original literature by L. Frank Baum. The only blue left on Pearl is a bow in her hair. There are no ruby ​​slippers; Instead, Pearl wears a ruby ​​red dress by Ruth. Mitsy’s feet fail in a desperate attempt to escape. The golden curls for her might resemble Glinda (Billy Burke), but what the sister-in-law better represents is the innocence that Pearl desperately clung to. Now it has passed to Mitsy, whom Pearl kills and dismembers.

At the end of pearl, there is no curtain. In this case, no barn door call to end the film the way it opened. The rousing score whose hopeful melody becomes eerie as the credits roll. Since on screen the barn doors don’t close and soothe the imagination. It is Pearl who sees her husband at home. She can no longer hide what is happening. As The Wizard of Oz, she embarks on a journey of self-discovery. Dorothy chose to love a worldly life surrounded by people she knew cared for her. Not only is Pearl stuck in the farmhouse knowing she loves to kill, Howard is the only one left. She attempted to escape, but violent outbursts effectively transported her into a purgatory of her own creation. Like a Kansas farm girl once upon a time, Pearl realizes there is no place like home.

https://collider.com/what-pearl-adds-to-the-horror-legacy-of-the-wizard-of-oz/ What Pearl Adds to the Horror Legacy of The Wizard of Oz

Sarah Ridley

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