Netflix’s The Perfection came with the usual unseemly onslaught of praise and hyperbole. ‘The most terrifying horror film since The Exorcist’ – they proclaimed. ‘It’s the greatest movie since that time you snuck downstairs and caught your parents watching Basic Instinct together – in the nudey’ – they shrieked. Settle down, dude. It’s perhaps a step up from the usual 400 films an hour Netflix has been putting out; a film about ladies, and cellos, and bus vomiting, and hand chopping, with more twists than a Shyamalan coda.
The Perfection follows Miss Noticeable Teeth 2019 – Allison Williams – a former child musical prodigy who gave up the rock star life of playing the cello, to focus on the decidedly more avant-garde life of caring for a terminally ill parent. She visits her old teachers to help them select the new her – the next big thing in the exciting world of cello fiddling – but she seems a little off. Jealous? Out for revenge? Something? Lizzie – the new prodigy seems a little vindictive two. Surprise – they’re attracted to each other and after a night of boozing get down to a little fiddling with each other. Sorry. The next day, the pair take a trip and all manner of bodily fluids hit the fan as Lizzie seems to be infected with some apocalyptic, Cronenbergian funk-fest. Is it a dream? Is Perfect Teeth up to no good? Something? Turns out, the twists and turns have only just begun – just as The Carpenters predicted.
Lets get the obvious out of the way – many of the twists are convoluted and silly, and as far as revenge plots go, I can think of at least four million easier ways to go about things – with just as much satisfaction. I guess the avenging party wanted things to be ‘perfect’. As twisty as matters do get, a lot of it is telegraphed and it does seem geared to conclude in an Audition like fashion. Luckily it’s all ridiculous enough that once you’re strapped in you’re more than likely to go along for the ride, and any misgivings you may have had are generally smoothed out by how handsomely shot the film is and how competent the cast and grew are. It’s obvious Richard Shepard has danced around the bush numerous times, and faces old and new such as Steven Webber and Logan Browning are all committed to disguising their characters’ true intentions. As a horror fan I’m pleased to say that the film does go to some visually, graphically, and mentally disturbing places – there’s nothing a seasoned horror fan won’t have seen many times, but maybe not in such a glossy way with such an artistic bent. Non seasoned fans likely will be slapped about like a fat footy fan’s belly at five pm. It is one of Netflix’s best movies and another notch on the ladder in Williams’ interesting career – but will she ever break out of the ‘untrustworthy scream queen’ trap she currently finds herself in? Something?
Let us know in the comments what you think of The Perfection!