The day after X (2022)'s South by Southwest premiere, writer/director Ti West revealed that during a mandatory two-week COVID-19 quarantine in his New Zealand hotel, before production could begin on this film, he wrote a prequel, Pearl (2022). A24 saw the script and greenlit the movie even before production on "X" had wrapped. He asked star Mia Goth if she wished to remain in New Zealand and film "Pearl," and she readily accepted. The prequel released later in 2022.

There was an actual adult film called The Farmer's Daughters (1976), which is infamous because it starred future acclaimed mainstream writer and actor Spalding Gray.

The title of the films refers to the X rating used by the MPAA from 1968 to 1990, which indicated that a film was only suitable for an audience aged 16 or older. The idea behind the rating was that, unlike the other certificates, X would not be trademarked, and would allow filmmakers to release their film in theaters without needing to submit it to the MPAA for an age certificate. Notable films that were originally released with an X rating include A Clockwork Orange (1971), Fritz the Cat (1972), Last Tango in Paris (1972), Midnight Cowboy (1969), and Sweet Sweetback's Baadasssss Song (1971). In the '70s, the porn industry would end up exploiting the X rating's lack of a trademark by releasing pornos in theaters with that same rating. Eventually, X became more associated with porn, and more and more theaters started refusing to show films with an X rating, forcing non-pornographic films to be censored to receive an R rating. In 1990, the MPAA discontinued the X rating and replaced it with NC-17. Unlike X, NC-17 was trademarked and could not be self-applied, but it still meant that most theaters would not show films with the rating, resulting in censorship, once again.

Shot on location in New Zealand.

The prequel film, Pearl (2022) began preproduction almost immediately after X (2022) wrapped, and began shooting a couple of weeks later. Pearl (2022) had its world premiere at the 79th Venice International Film Festival on September 3, 2022, and was released in theaters in the United States on September 16, 2022, by A24.

Brittany Snow talked about filming the nude scenes in an interview, "I think there was a lot of confidence in terms of our characters, and a part of the nudity came from that confidence that our characters exuded. It almost felt necessary, because not only were we filming a porn, but our characters would've been so comfortable with that." Snow said the film "was an exercise in me feeling confident about my body. I was pretty proud of myself."

The name of the gas station and mini-mart at the beginning of the film is a direct reference to Ti West's movie, The Inkeepers (2011), which was set at the Yankee Pedlar Inn.

Horror film debut of Kid Cudi.

There is a subtle nod to a scene in When Harry Met Sally (1989) when they're talking about day of the week panties, and why there is no pair for Sunday, "because of God." Lorraine's character is wearing a pair of "Sunday" panties, while also being labeled "church mouse" by the crew.

This is the second time Mia Goth has appeared in a movie centering around sex. She previously appeared in Nymphomaniac: Vol. II (2013).

Shares the title and main theatrical poster of Australian horror film X: Night of Vengeance (2011).

On the drive to the film set, the actors talk about the "American dream". Brittany Snow starred in the TV series "American Dreams" that took place in the early 60's, in which she played a wholesome, idealistic teen.

Several of the characters' deaths are foreshadowed in various ways: When Bobby-Lynne exits the strip club at the beginning of the film, a large mural depicting a blonde woman with an alligator pulling off her bikini is seen on the building, foreshadowing Bobby-Lynne's death by an alligator attack. Wayne, in conversation with RJ, tells him that "people's eyes are gonna pop out of their skulls" when they see the adult film they have made; Wayne later dies by having the prongs of a pitchfork impaled through his eye sockets. Jackson mentions several times that he was threatened by farmers with guns while serving in Vietnam; he is ultimately killed by Howard with a shotgun. The van runs over the entrails of a dead cow early on; Pearl meets her end when Maxine backs a truck over her body, crushing her head. In addition, when Howard and Jackson go looking for Pearl, Howard mentions his worry that Pearl will fall and break her hip. When Pearl fires the shotgun at Maxine, the recoil causes her to fly through the air and break her hip upon landing.

Man found in basement is also seen in missing persons ad on the milk carton when Jackson takes a sip.

Mia Goth is cast in a dual role as Maxine and Pearl, the main protagonist and antagonist, respectively. She reprises the role of Pearl in the prequel, Pearl (2022); released just 6 months later, on September 16, 2022.

Lorraine references Psycho (1960) during a conversation with the group; later Jackson discovers a partially submerged car in the pond similar to Marion Crane's car being dumped into the lake by Norman Bates.

A common stereotype of horror films holds that sexually active characters are the first to die and that survivors ("final girls") are almost always virgins. Here, the opposite holds true: the two characters who are never seen having sex die.

BODY COUNT: 8 1. Bound man: found bloody and strung up in the cellar, presumably dead for a while 2. RJ: stabbed in the neck to the point of decapitation 3. Wayne: stabbed through the eyes with a pitchfork 4. Jackson: shotgunned in the chest 5. Bobby Lynne: Mauled to death by the swamp alligator 6. Lorraine: face blasted half off by a shotgun 7. Howard: dies of a heart attack 8. Pearl: head completely pulverized when run over by the wheel of the pickup truck.

The film is set in 1979, and makes reference to missing persons ads on milk cartons (presumably the man Maxine discovers hanging dead in the basement). However, the first usage of milk cartons for missing persons was not until 1984. It was part of a campaign run by the National Child Safety Council.

The cameraman in the film, RJ, takes a shower right before he is stabbed to death by an old woman. These two scenes, the shower scene and the subsequent stabbing, along with the camera angles and editing, are reminiscent of and pay homage to the famous shower scene in Psycho (1960).

After Bobby-Lynn is eaten by the crocodile, Howard asks Pearl if she was the one Pearl was obsessed with, to which Pearl responds, "You know I don't like blondes." In Pearl (2022), Pearl fails to win a spot with a traveling dance troupe because the talent scouts dismiss her for not emulating the young, "blonde," all-American type they had in mind.

Early in the film within the gas station, Maxine makes reference that she wants to be famous like Lynda Carter. Wayne soon calls Maxine "Wonder Woman" when telling her to get some Wonder Bread. Then as he puts his items on the counter for purchase, you see he's buying a copy of the August 1979 edition of High Society - with Lynda Carter as Wonder Woman on the cover.

After killing RJ (Owen Campbell), Pearl (Mia Goth) starts to dance. Goth previously appeared in Luca Guadagnino's version of Suspiria (2018), a film about a dance school run by a coven of witches. Some of her dance movements as Pearl are similar to those of her Suspiria character, Sara. Tilda Swinton's character in that film also plays multiple roles, most of which required her to wear heavy prosthetic makeup (including the elderly male psychiatrist Dr. Klemperer and the hideous "Mother" Helena Markos).