How 'X,' 'Pearl' and 'MaXXXine' Are All Connected

Ti West's 'X' trilogy kicked off in 2022, with Mia Goth taking on the roles of both Maxine Minx and Pearl throughout 'X,' 'Pearl,' and 'MaXXXine.'

Each product has been independently selected by our editorial team. We may receive commissions from some links to products on this page. Promotions are subject to availability and retailer terms.

When Ti West returned to his horror roots with the 2022 release of X, he kicked off what would become a massively successful slasher series. Centering around two main characters, Maxine "Max" Minx and Pearl, both portrayed by Mia Goth, and with plenty of tributes to iconic films of the past decades, the A24 film series has been one of the most talked about franchises in recent years, with the first two movies not only grossing a combined $25 million at the box office, but also reaching critical acclaim – X holds a 94% critics score on Rotten Tomatoes, with Pearl holding a 93%. But, how exactly are X, Pearl, and MaXXXine connected?

(Photo: A24)

Although the franchise kicked off with X in March 2022, the interconnected story between the three films actually begins in Pearl: An Extraordinary Origin Story, also released in 2022. Taking place decades before the events in X, and serving as an origin story of sorts, Pearl is set in 1918 during the Influenza pandemic and centers around the slasher trilogy's villain, Pearl, a young woman living with her German immigrant parents in their farmhouse. Stuck in a smalltown life, tending to her ailing father and under the bitter and overbearing watch of her devout mother, Pearl's dream is to become a Hollywood star, and as her desire for fame grows, her "ambitions, temptations, and repressions" collide into acts of violence. The film pays homage to classics like The Wizard of Oz (1939) and Mary Poppins (1964).

Decades after her bloody rampage in Pearl, Pearl takes the lives of several unsuspecting victims in X. Kicking off what would become a massively successful franchise that would return West to his horror roots, X is set in 1979 as a group of young filmmakers set out to make an adult film in rural Texas. Paying homage to iconic slashers like The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1974), the film largely centers around Goth's Maxine Minx, an aspiring actress who is one of the stars of the adult film, which gets upended when the elderly couple that own the land, Howard and Pearl, catch the group in the act.

(Photo: A24)

Slated to his theaters in July, West's upcoming slasher MaXXXine, a sequel to, will cap off the X trilogy and once again see Goth reprising the role of Maxine Minx. More than five years after the bloody massacre in Texas that she walked away from as the sole survivor, Maxine has now made her way to Hollywood in 1985 to achieve her dream of becoming a star, landing a role in a film called The Puritan II from director Elizabeth Bender (The Crown's Elizabeth Debicki). However, just as she is getting her big break, "a trail of blood threatens to reveal her sinister past" as a mysterious killer known as the Night Stalker stalks the starlets of Hollywood.

MaXXXine hits theaters on July 5. Ahead of the film's release, fans can catch up with the X trilogy, with both X and Pearl currently streaming on Paramount with Showtime, which you can subscribe to here. X is also available to stream on Netflix.