Get ready for one wild ride, the Richard Shepard film The Perfection will keep you guessing until the very last frame.
You may want to make sure you’re not eating anything before reading this review any further.
Making its debut at Fantastic Fest with critical acclaim, it’s no wonder why The Perfection was picked up from Netflix. The suspense thriller dives into the story of two musical prodigies from a prestigious school that harbors some very disturbing secrets. Charlotte (Allison Williams) had her musical career cut short when her mother fell ill and she was obligated to return home to take care of her. Several years have passed and Charlotte’s mother is now deceased and the former cellist doesn’t quite know what to do with herself. Her whole life at this point has been devoted to the care of her mother and her only desire is to go back to what she knows best, the school that taught her how to become a skilled cello player.
When Charlotte travels to Shanghai to reconnect with her former music teachers Anton (Steven Weber) and Paloma (Alaina Huffman) she also meets their newest prodigy Lizzie (Logan Browning). There is an instant connection between Charlotte and Lizzie, so much so that their encounter becomes romantic. However, there is more than meets the eye between these two and Charlotte herself is someone who is not to be trusted.
Charlotte and Lizzie spend a day in town while Lizzie has some time off from training and the two take a bus ride outside of the city. However, something goes terribly wrong when Lizzie becomes nauseous and begins to vomit. Her vomit is inundated with crawling bugs and the audience wants to know was it something she ate? Or was it something else? Lizzie is forced to have to get off the bus because the regurgitating won’t stop and when she vomits again there are more bugs.
Charlotte notices Lizzie’s arm is bulging with creepy crawly things inside of her skin and believes that those same bugs crawling around Lizzie’s vomit are now inside of Lizzie’s skin. Charlotte suddenly pulls out a butcher’s knife (where did she even get a butcher’s knife from?) and tell her, “you know what you have to do”.
This is just the beginning of a series of plot twists and turns that occur in The Perfection that is so dizzying that it will give you vertigo by the end of the film.
This film is horrifying, but don’t let the bugs, vomit, and creepy crawly things under Lizzie’s skin dissuade you from seeing this film if you have a weak stomach. The movie is not about gore, it’s about mystery and putting the pieces together in a cryptic puzzle about Charlotte’s past, Lizzie’s present and the future of the school they both attended.
Allison Williams gives us yet another reason as to why she shouldn’t be trusted in the horror movie genre, between her character Charlotte in The Perfection and her character Rose in Get Out, both women are incredibly suspect in their motives.
Logan Browning takes her first dive into the horror genre, she is most notably known as Sam in the Netflix TV series Dear White People and her screams will pierce your soul. She does an excellent job of also being frightened of the calamity she’s going through and she sets up Lizzie’s character also comes with her own set of surprises.
With films like Hereditary, Get Out, A Quiet Place and Us, the horror genre is getting smarter and craftier with its stories. The Perfection certainly deserves a spot in this class of critically acclaimed horror films and hopefully will be as memorable and stay indelibly printed on the mind of fans everywhere as a horror movie worth checking out.
The Perfection releases on Netflix May 24th.
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Jamie Broadnax is the creator of the online community for Black women called Black Girl Nerds. Jamie has appeared on MSNBC's The Melissa Harris-Perry Show and The Grio's Top 100. Her Twitter personality has been recognized by Shonda Rhimes as one of her favorites to follow. She's the primary film critic for BGN and is a member of the Critics Choice Association.