Picture this, you’re scrolling through Netflix trying to find a good thriller to watch. You’ve already seen What Happened to Monday and you’ve re-watched Bird Box five times now. Just when you think it’ll be another night falling asleep to Black Panther, you see The Perfection starring Logan Browning and Allison Williams.
Netflix produces great original movies and television shows, and The Perfection is no different. I personally chose to watch the film simply because of my love for Logan Browning and the fact that a black woman was starring in a thriller that isn’t about a stalker or an abusive husband. Also, Allison Williams killed her role in Get Out, so I had pretty high expectations going in.
The Perfection centers around a former cellist, Charlotte (Williams), who leaves her elite music academy as a child to care for her sick mother. After her mother passes away, she returns to the school in the hopes of achieving the fame, fortune, and acceptance from strict music academy director Anton, that she missed out on. However when she arrives, she learns that Elizabeth (Browning) is the new prodigal favorite. When they meet you can sense that there’s both jealousy and hesitation from Charlotte.
There are spoilers in this review, so if you plan on watching the film you might want to stop reading now. You’re given the impression that Charlotte is feeling intimidated about returning. However, we don’t quite know how she’ll handle meeting the new golden child. When she finally meets Elizabeth they both gush over each other’s talents and there’s an obvious chemistry between them. Later that night, the two play a beautiful duet, and sleep together. The scenes bounce back and forth between the duet performance and the sex performance, allowing for the audience to push away the thought that there would be any hard feelings from Charlotte. The next day Elizabeth decides to take a break from the academy and invites Charlotte to tag along.
Drama turned horror film
The movie immediately turns away from it’s dramatic beginnings into a full blown horror movie, complete with maggot filled vomit, uncontrollable diarrhea and self-inflicted mutilation. Trapped on a long, hot, bus travelling through rural China, Elizabeth gets sick and has to get off the bus. Browning’s acting during this scene is so intense. You might find yourself yelling at the driver that forced them off because she’s obviously in need of medical attention. There were so many ways this film could have gone and it’s refreshing that all of my assumptions were wrong. I personally believed we were heading for another biological warfare type zombie apocalypse, but that wasn’t the case at all.
The best parts of the film are yet to come, so I won’t give away everything. I will say that there is quite more to Charlotte and Elizabeth than what meets the eye. There are so many twists and turns that it feels a lot longer than 90 minutes. The ending doesn’t really leave you feeling whole, but rather leaves you with the understanding that we have to make sacrifices for our happiness. Due to the nature of the film, including gruesome violence and the implication of rape, The Perfection isn’t for everyone. But if you can handle the grossness and have no fear of insects, then you’re in for a wild ride.