Netflix’s ‘The Perfection’ is a controversial nightmare: Review

The following is a spoiler-free review of Netflix’s The Perfection.

After months of critic hype and fervent fan speculation, Netflix’s mysterious and controversial The Perfection finally began streaming on Friday — and already, it’s tearing the horror community apart. 

As vast and as varied as the many things that scare us, horror fans are a unique bunch. Whether you’re dealing with a pack of Conjuring stans or an offbeat group of indie pushers, nailing down exactly what will (and what won’t) satisfy any given audience can be tricky. 

So, The Perfection just tried all of it.

Without getting into any spoilers, here’s a simplified premise: Charlotte Willmore (Allison Williams), a classically trained cellist struggling to cope with the passing of her mother, returns to the performance world after an extended hiatus. There she re-encounters her former music instructor Anton (Steven Weber), his wife Paloma (Alaina Huffman), and fellow prodigy Elizabeth (Logan Browning). Then, things get batshit.

Just when you think you know what this movie reminds you of, it’s mutating into something else.

Original, surprising, unique, bizarre, revolting, and sexy, this feminist fright sent straight from the bowels of hell will extract reactions from you like a deranged dentist pulling teeth. Delivering punch after punch, the beats of The Perfection are consistently jarring, but jarringly inconsistent. 

In one moment, you’re watching a bad Black Swan spin-off. The next, you’re knee-deep in body horror à la The Fly. After that, you’re reliving a scene from 127 Hours, a couple of scenes from Boxing Helena, and every last one of the Allison Williams-starring Get Out moments we’ve come to know and love. (Okay, minus the Froot Loops.)

Equal parts chunky and silky, the resulting horror blend that is The Perfection is something so new and surprising that you can’t help but be awestruck by it. It’s an assault on the senses and sensibilities — relying not only on shocking your adrenaline levels, but subverting the genre’s own referential rolodex to keep you off balance. Just when you think you know what this movie reminds you of, it’s mutating into something else.

1 in 2 cellists loved 'The Perfection.'

1 in 2 cellists loved ‘The Perfection.’

Anyone who sees The Perfection will feel strongly about it. You might love it, you might hate it, you might not even know if you loved it or hated it. (I, for one, intend to watch this film at least 10 more times before rendering a full opinion — and still can’t be sure if that’s an endorsement or a red flag.)

In its final form, this one-of-a-kind genre Frankenstein is a stand-out terror in an increasingly inventive and competitive field. Controversial, slippery, and sickening, The Perfection will get you screaming, then talking. 

The Perfection is now streaming on Netflix

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