MaXXXine Director Discusses Inspiration for Film’s Ending

During an interview, director Ti West shared that the conclusion of the MaXXXine trilogy was largely influenced by the chilling credit sequence featuring Pearl.

West’s trilogy of horror films has come to a gory end with the release of MaXXXine, the direct follow-up to 2022’s X. Caution: minor spoilers ahead!

The conclusion of the franchise also contains similarities to the prequel Pearl from 2023, particularly in its conclusion. MaXXXine ends with a lengthy, close-up shot of Maxine’s prosthetic head detached from her body on a bed, followed by a view of Los Angeles.

West explained to USA Today that the final scene was in line with his vision for the series, as it was a deliberate reference to the climax of the second movie.

The director clarified that the final scene of Pearl, where she is seen forcing a smile despite her struggles, embodies the essence of the entire movie. He also pointed out that the image of a decapitated head on the bed being captured on camera reflects the absurdity portrayed throughout the film.

Mia Goth in Pearl

The final credit sequence of Pearl showcases Mia Goth, who plays the titular character, looking directly into the camera with a forced smile that appears painful.

The realization that Pearl comes to is haunting as she realizes that all the murders she committed in the movie did not help her achieve her dream of becoming a famous chorus girl. As a result, she would be trapped on her family farm for the rest of her life.

Despite the fact that the sequence was created spontaneously, Goth disclosed that it was a key factor in distinguishing the prequel from other horror movies.

According to Mia Goth, who spoke with Total Film Magazine, the eerie end credits smile in “The Pearl”was not originally written in the script. Director Ti West came up with the idea the day before shooting and suggested keeping the camera rolling instead of using a freeze frame. He wanted to see what would happen and if nothing came of it, they could always go back to the original plan.

That moment ended up being a profoundly cathartic event for me. It was a deeply poignant experience, almost like a cleansing.

West’s choice to conclude MaXXXine with a final shot of Goth’s face trapped within a solid plastic mold is a fitting conclusion to a series centered around characters driven by a desire to conform to society’s unrealistic standards of celebrity and attractiveness, regardless of the consequences.

The movie MaXXXine is currently showing in theaters. Additionally, you can browse through other recently released A24 films, discover the top Neon horror movies to watch before Longlegs, and find out about upcoming movie releases in July.

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