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Hitting the Right Notes

The Perfection follows a troubled cellist who enters into a complicated relationship with a rival cellist as they embark on a disturbing journey that has more twists and turns than should be disclosed here.

The Perfection Review

FINALLY a horror movie that has lived up to the hype! The Perfection has been causing a stir for months now, and with its release this past weekend, it was second only in order of priority for me to Brightburn (which I reviewed over the weekend), but it was objectively superior in almost every way. The Perfection might very well be Netflix's best horror original to date.

When the synopsis and subsequent buzz dropped, it sounded to me like The Perfection was a mix between Whiplash and Black Swan. And while one could argue it has tinges of those films, this movie is so unique in its plot, structure, script, and delivery that it is an injustice to The Perfection to mention any unintended similarities (beyond the commentary towards the pursuit of perfection in a field and the competitive nature of the high-class arts).

This movie is insane. I loved that you had no idea where it was going from the opening scene to the end. So much of the plot plays like a tangible, coherent nightmare. I have long argued that dream and/or drug-induced sequences are virtually impossible to pull off in an enjoyable or engaging way, at least for me, yet The Perfection's surreal approach to storytelling firmly holds itself grounded to be able to retain the audience's attention and their struggle between belief and disbelief.

Because our review is coming relatively late to the party, I'm almost ashamed to be touting the movie so heavily from the bandwagon, but I can't help but be impressed by a film with so much courage to tackle a story in such a unique way, and to then have that courage rewarded with a successful piece of cinema.

Having said that, this piece of art, as many horror films can attest, is not for everyone. There is material in this film that spans across the spectrum of what horror films are willing to present to their audience. It has a voice, but the voice is gnarly and disturbing and unwilling to relinquish its often unsettling subject matter to ease the viewer.

Somehow the film manages a steady, effective pace that never feels choppy (unless otherwise purposeful) or slow. It's as methodical as the cello notes played. Dare I say the pacing nears perfection. And I think without this attention to detail in the directing and editing, the film would be praised in a box of its subject matter and twists. But because of its eccentric fluidity, the entire film becomes a force to be reckoned with, in part and in whole.

Horror Rating System

Horror Qualifier: 8/10 Horror Quality: 6/10

Film Quality: 8/10

© 2020 Sickle and Efrit | Dalton Vanhooser & Kyle Hagan