Title: The Perfection
Director: Richard Shepard
Actor(s): Allison Williams, Logan Browning
Runtime: 1 hour 30 minutes
Holy shit this movie was insane! I had no idea what to expect, it was a wild ride. I didn’t really know what it was about except that it was a horror film about two lesbian cellists, and it had allegedly made some people sick at film festivals. I have a morbid curiosity about films that are considered really ‘extreme’ and what I did know about it made me curious, so I watched it alone one night. I’m partly glad I watched it alone. Watching it with somebody else (like one of my parents, for example) would have been weird.
The movie is split into three parts with abrupt tonal shifts and moments where it will rewind itself and show scenes from another character’s perspective, totally changing the implication of what you’ve just seen. It begins by introducing Charlotte (Allison Williams,) a brilliant cellist whose career was put on a stand-still when her mom got sick. When her mom dies, she comes back to the prestigious academy where she trained, run by the stern Anton (Steven Weber) and his wife (Alaina Huffman.)
Charlotte also meets up with Elizabeth (Logan Browning,) who is similarly talented and who she first met when they were adolescents at the school. They’re both chosen to judge a group of little girls in a music competition, and they start to have feelings for each other end up sleeping together. One night they see a man (the father of one of the girls) becoming violently ill and vomiting up orange liquid.
Soon afterwards Elizabeth takes Charlotte on a trip when Elizabeth gets sick too and starts to have similar symptoms. Things get weirder and weirder as Elizabeth’s symptoms morph into something bizarre and inexplicable and they’re deserted by their bus onto an isolated road. I was honestly 100% invested in this movie.
I never knew what was going to happen next and whenever I thought something (like Elizabeth getting the virus) was going to be the ‘focus’ of the film it ended up going in a wildly different direction. The Perfection is disturbing and is best watched by people with a strong tolerance for dark themes and body horror. It’s audacity and it’s willing to do something totally different is a big part of what made it great.
Both the actresses did a good job and the film was visually striking. It was a bit of a slow-burn which really accentuated how batshit insane the last thirty or so minutes were. This movie will have you wondering who’s really the main antagonist and what the fuck is really going on. The ending is disgusting and gruesome but oddly satisfying. As far as Netflix original movies go, this is one of the better ones and is definitely worth checking out for horror fans.