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Several hours after watching Netflixs new original horror film, The Perfection, Im still unsure if Id recommend it to people. The film, which stars Allison Williams and Logan Browning as two cello prodigies, is completely off the rails. At times it feels like a soapy Lifetime film, with one of the characters repeatedly calling another a bitchas if there is no other word to describe a woman who did something seemingly evil. But there are also moments when it feels like a smart, campy arthouse film, thanks to its creative narration style and chapter divisions. The result is a strange yet watchable horror film that will likely inspire a lot of discussions after it arrives on the streaming service Friday.

The Perfection

RELEASE DATE: 5/24/2019
DIRECTOR: Richard Shephard
A revenge fantasy horror film centered around two musical prodigies.

The Perfection‘s execution relies on the audience not knowing what will happen next or for whom to root. But heres the general plot: Lizzie (Browning), a young, talented cellist, connects with her schools former star student, Charlotte (Williams), during an event. The pair have instant chemistry and spend a night together, but the next morning Lizzie becomes extremely ill. Several graphic scenes involving vomit, bugs, and mutilation follow. The first half of the film isnt really scary; in fact, it’s often funny. Yet it’s purposely confusing. You dont know exactly what youre watching or how its all going to connect.


Without its unique narration style, The Perfection would feel silly. But its smartly edited to mislead viewers. You dont know who the true villain of this horror film isand there definitely is one. The ending is wild and horrific, but its also satisfying. Some scenes are extremely uncomfortable, like the ill-conceived fake rape scene. The film seems designed to shock viewers, but it doesn’t always put its female leads in the best light.

Browning, who stars in the Netflix series , does her best with the material but often gets saddled with cheesy lines. Williams has a meatier role that will inevitably draw comparisons to her character in . The film also stars Steven Weber as Anton, their music instructor. The film does not reveal the full scope of his role until its turbulent end. What you think youre about to watch is a typical story of a demanding music instructor and an obsessive student who goes crazy, like 2014s Whiplash. But The Perfection, while campier in style, is about something much darker than trying to become a perfect musician.


Be warned: The Perfectionincludes scenes and discussion of rape, and it shows men in high positions abusing their power. Its a horror film that feels relevant in the post-Me Too era, but its still a story about abuse. Even if it shows survivors coming to terms with their abuse and seeking revenge, the abuse still happens. The Perfection doesnt do a good job of answering why or how institutions knowingly let these horrific acts happen without consequences. It’s more focused on presenting a tightly constructed horror plot. The film falls into that bad-good category, but it’s much better than a lot of other horror movies on streaming services. If you want to see a wild, deranged film, it might be for you. My one recommendation? Don’t eat a meal while watching it.

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