You didn’t think you’d see me this soon again now did ya? Yet, I am scraping the bottom of the barrel with streaming movies (as long as they are new for the U.S. as of 2020) and several of my movie sites I frequent pointed me to THE PLATFORM, a new international feature film that debuted on Netflix last Friday. There is always some kind of small treasure when you search the bottom of barrels, and needless to say, this was a very nice small treasure. Now, I say international feature film, and now you are probably smacking your head because you are in fear that means you’ll have to go above and beyond like you did recently to watch and read the subtitles to the 2019 Academy Award winner for Best Picture, Parasite. However, this is not subtitled, it’s a new hurtle that you’ll have to get over if you want to enjoy the film…it is dubbed. It is a Spanish science fiction horror film, with a high concept. If you’ve ever heard about or scene the movie Cube, it is kind of like that, but not really (I’ll get to the synopsis in a moment). But it is DEFINITELY original, and after about 5 minutes I got over the dubbing (the voices not matching the lip movements) and enjoyed this nice and tight 1 hr and 35 minute feature that has no filler, didn’t blink once, I was quite amazed at how solid it is. Definitely one of those rare Netflix treats that you don’t want to miss.
The concept (without going into spoilers, and borrowing from IMDB and Wikipedia because I’m just too lazy nowadays to put it in my own words: “The film is set in a large, tower-style prison where the inmates are fed by means of a platform that gradually descends the levels of the tower, ostensibly a fair system if each inmate takes only their fair share of food, but deeply inequitable in practice as inmates at the top levels have the ability to take much more food and leave less for those below them.” And now we get to a little of my own description: Two men wake up on level 48, not knowing each of each other’s back stories, but one of them has been in the prison already for a little while and knows the ups and downs. They are going to have to learn to get along so they can survive long enough to outlast their sentences. Aaaaaaand that’s where I am going to stop. Any more and I would spoil the many surprises that the film has in store for you. And when I say many surprises, I MEAN MANY. In bold. This movie completely subverted my expectations, with one hell of a roller coaster ride that leads to a near perfect ending that I didn’t see coming. The film is very layered with messages, such as politics, socialism, etc. but doesn’t beat you over the head with any of them. The Platform is finely crafted, and you can tell the filmmakers spent a lot of time fine tuning it so that all audiences could enjoy.
I am not familiar with the director or any of the actors, so I won’t get into too many particulars, but needless to say, the acting is top notch and the direction even better. The film is dark, gritty and shot masterfully. It’s a high concept that pays off. Now while this film is being described as horror. It isn’t a jump out at you cheap jump scare type of thing. Like Hereditary, Midsommer, or any other well written horror film that doesn’t contain any jump scares, this is a movie that preys and feasts on the mind, making you shudder if you try to put yourself into the situation of any of the inmates there. It will chill you to your bone. So I’m gonna make this review short because I feel like I’m about to blab about something that should be saved in your viewing. If you can get past the dubbing, which for me was less then 5 minutes, and you get to the core of the story, you are going to have a helluva time with The Platform. In fact, I want to re watch it soon just so I can pick out things planted within the movie that I might’ve missed on first viewing. Just like the prison, this film has many layers, and its story will stick with me for quite some time.