The Perfection (2018)
May 26, 2019 1:37 PM - Subscribe

When troubled musical prodigy Charlotte seeks out Elizabeth, the new star pupil of her former school, the encounter sends both musicians down a sinister path with shocking consequences.
posted by pelvicsorcery (8 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I adored this. Did anyone else check it out? Thoughts, feelings?
posted by pelvicsorcery at 1:38 PM on May 26, 2019

I was about to turn it off after watching about 10 minutes but I'm glad I stuck with it. I appreciate when a film can fake you out and then once it gets going, it doesn't hold back. It made me realize all the stilted acting in the beginning was because everyone was hiding something. And all the over-the-top acting in the second half was because every single person was certifiably insane. That very last shot brought to mind Jodorowsky's Sante Sangre, unless I'm remembering it wrong. Yea, this film was nuts.
posted by cazoo at 3:27 PM on May 26, 2019 [3 favorites]

I'm glad I found your review just now, cazoo. I'm 10 or so minutes in and very much in an "uh, I dunno about this"/"dammit why does Netflix keep producing these awful quasi-erotic thrillers" frame of mind, but I'll stick with it.
posted by blerghamot at 8:06 PM on May 26, 2019 [1 favorite]

Watched it earlier tonight and loved it. I watch a lot of films, so it was quite a treat to not know what was going to happen from one act to the next.

My favorite bit was the little camera wobble they pull at the one hour eleven minute mark. I don’t have an ounce of musical knowledge, but adding the visual component was a great touch.
posted by FallibleHuman at 11:14 PM on May 26, 2019 [2 favorites]

Just watched this. I enjoyed it, but it’s like the poster girl for the “Problematic Fav.” LOTS OF SPOILERS NOW, EVERY SPOILER

The first big twist I saw coming, in part because I watched the trailer, and in part because I watched it with my SO. Usually when I watch a film by myself I just let what happens wash over me and try not to get ahead of what the director wants me to know, but my SO likes to interrogate the action every step of the way. But while I wound up accurately predicting the action down to the source of the drugs, I was still surprised by the later minor twist, which was Charlotte’s motivation for what she did. It wasn’t jealousy, it was to protect Lizzie. WHAT??

Knowing now what I’ve learned by the end of the movie: Charlotte knows that Lizzie has been raped and tortured by Anton, and that Anton has been doing this for years, yet she decides to torture and maim the victim?? To pile trauma upon the trauma she’s already experienced, and more importantly, leave Anton free to continue to torture and rape teenage girls? Seeing as Charlotte is willing to concoct convoluted schemes, why not drug and maim Anton instead?? And as for Charlotte’s explanation to Lizzie that she knew Lizzie was brainwashed like she used to be, which is why she had to get her to chop off her hand—couldn’t she at least have asked first? What if Lizzie was on the fence about being ritually raped and tortured? Maybe we could have saved a lot of roadside diarrhea humiliation and that whole losing-a-hand thing.

Not to mention that Charlotte’s plan apparently hinges on Lizzie being aggressively attracted to her from the get-go, and inviting her on her rare vacation? If that hadn’t been the case, Charlotte wouldn’t have been able to feed her all the prescription drugs and alcohol, spend Time freaking her out, and acquiring a cleaver. Even if she’d spiked Lizzie’s drink at the reception (and Lizzie would have had just one drink if it weren’t the eve of her vacation), a non-horny Lizzie would have gone back to her hotel room to ride out the roofie without Charlotte’s gaslighting (and traumatic self-amputation).

By the way, between this and Get Out, I hope Allison Williams isn’t being typecast as the white woman who befriends black people with the secret agenda to mutilate them later.

Also I haven’t checked Twitter on this but I feel like there’s going to be a lot of pushback against the handling of Charlotte’s mental illness (the strange reveal of her wig, showing that her ECT was recent, as if that explained her batshit plan) and that Lizzie needed Charlotte to abuse her to “open her eyes.” Also I think a lot of people will be disappointed that a movie that started out as a woman-centered Black Swan-style rivalry/romance turned out to be built on a foundation of child rape. (Which leads back to the protagonist roofie-ing and gaslighting the co-protagonist to save her.)

And then there’s the final scene, which I absolutely loved for how firmly it prioritizes a striking image over a modicum of sense (and its homage to Boxing Helena). The women performing their duet was an excellent scene and a rich metaphor. Although I enjoyed the movie, I wish the rest of it was more like the ending, a heightened reality where making sense takes a back seat to emotional truth.

To sum up, during the scene where Anton’s two teacher-goons succumbed to poison while Lizzie threatened to stump-rape Charlotte, my SO turned to me and doubtfully asked, “Is this good?” I can’t say the answer to that is yes, but it’s certainly enjoyable, if you like thrillers that aren’t afraid to get weird.
posted by ejs at 11:16 PM on May 28, 2019 [1 favorite]

I LOVE psychological, smart horror. I dont mind gore, but I do NOT like body horror. Should I avoid this?
posted by Illusory contour at 8:44 PM on May 31, 2019

Just finished this and I’m kind of in wtf-mode. I had no idea what to expect but it had been on my list for a while. This one was super graphic, which I really don’t mind, but was not expecting it at all.

I also wonder if Elizabeth Williams is going to be forever the psycho racist? But she does that nice-on-the-surface-psycho-under-neath look so very well. Some people just play a good psycho.

Weird thing I don’t know if anyone noticed but at the end of the credits there’s another set with totally different names for the actors that played the characters?
posted by LizBoBiz at 1:39 PM on March 26, 2020

Are you talking about the dubbing credits at the end?
posted by chazlarson at 5:27 PM on February 3, 2021

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