Tuesday, July 16, 2019

THE PERFECTION (2018): A Considered Response

Logan Browning and Allison Williams as the lovers and competitors of Richard Shepard's THE PERFECTION.
THE PERFECTION (Netflix) is a beautifully designed and shot film for the most part, one that builds to a nicely kinky tableau that is half ingenious and half absurd and thus lingers in the memory; unfortunately, its scenic pluses made me all the more upset with its coarse, overplayed minuses. Its narrative rewind gimmick reminds us twice that we’re just watching a movie, while also indirectly telling us that what we see on the first pass isn't the whole story, hence can’t be trusted at face value. The gimmick also detracts from what could have been a more genuinely clever arrangement of the narrative with simple fades to an earlier moment. It begins so well and goes so wrong, even giving us some glimpses of the movie it might have been. 

I think Michael Reeves and George Romero would agree with me on this: if you’re going to make a horror film to take a serious, defiant, political stand about something (say, rich white men and child abuse), do your audience a favor and find a metaphor. Furthermore, never make your heroes dubious (much less crazy and borderline evil from the get-go); if you must villainize something, make it something bad rather than something admirable like education and achievement; and finally - if blood must have blood - never leave your audience chuckling smugly. 

(c) 2019 by Tim Lucas. All rights reserved.