The Perfection (2018) Poster

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6/10
turn after turn
SnoopyStyle11 June 2019
Charlotte Willmore (Allison Williams) is in Shanghai where she befriends fellow cellist Lizzie (Logan Browning). There is a sickness spreading from the south. The women have a sexual encounter. They're on a bus when Lizzie starts to get sick. She throws up maggots and they are thrown off the bus in the middle of nowhere. Anton (Steven Weber) is the head of Bachoff Academy and Paloma (Alaina Huffman) is his wife.

Without knowing anything about this movie, the biological horror of the first act seems intriguing. I can do without the bus driver's over-acting although in a way, his falseness plays into the paranoia mentality of the story. The plot's turn after turn can be interesting but it also lacks the road map to make it truly compelling. It's hard to maintain rooting interest when the lead is changed from one to the other and back. There is an interesting premise here but it needs more careful planning to be a great film.
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6/10
Entertaining but Absolutely Unbelievable
claudio_carvalho8 May 2020
When the mother of the teenage violoncellist Charlotte Willmore (Allison Williams) has a serious stroke, she quits her promising career to take care of her mother. When her mother dies years later, Charlotte contacts her mentor Anton (Steven Weber) from the Bachoff Academy in Boston, and his wife Paloma (Alaina Huffman). She travels to Shanghai to meet their new prodigy Elizabeth "Lizzie" (Logan Browning) and they befriend each other. Lizzie is on vacation and they go to a night-club, drink a lot and have sex in Charlotte´s room. Lizzie invites Charlotte to travel on vacation with her and they travel together by bus. But soon, strange things happen to Lizzie in the beginning of a weird journey with many twists.

"The Perfection" is an entertaining but absolutely unbelievable film. The great screenplay uses flashbacks and many plot points that make the story funny, romantic, full of thriller and horror. The conclusion is sinister and bizarre. My vote is six.

Title (Brazil): Not Available
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7/10
Don't look (closely) now
kosmasp2 January 2020
The movie is easy to take apart. For something that works with twists, everything is easily taken apart. Still the movie is fun to watch, if you just go through it without much thinking. Because as I said and as will be able to testify yourself: the plot is a mess! The acting is not a mess and the main actresses are beautiful to watch, no matter what situation.

The inciting incident does not make much sense and many who have seen Allison in a different movie will be able to get something out of that - then again, maybe that is not what it seems? And that is the (main) attraction of the movie, not knowing. But the ending is quite satisfying in a twisted and morbid kind of way (not for the faint of heart then).
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4/10
Ugh and eh.
BandSAboutMovies2 June 2019
Warning: Spoilers
I saw someone set this movie up with the fact that it would be too upsetting for many viewers and it was given a blanket trigger warning because people need to be told that horror movies are actually upsetting - even when they pale in comparison to foreign horror or past frights. Read that as this ain't no Cannibal Ferox. That said, there's a fair amount of hype behind this one, with words like genius being bandied about.

I'm being candid. When I see a trigger warning before any critical analysis, my radar goes off. Horror itself demands that we walk into a film with no real preparation, ready to be frightened and perhaps shocked. Removing that makes it safe when the genre itself depends on an utter lack of safety. Yes, I'm being insensitive on some level. But really - when something has a hard R or you can tell from the trailer it's going to get rough, you don't need much more warning than that.

Charlotte Willmore (Allison Williams, Get Out) was once a talented cellist with plenty of promise, but her mother's illness - and her own mental illness - forced her to leave Bachoff, a school for gifted musicians. After a decade of being a caregiver, she comes back into the school's orbit to travel to Shanghai and help the school pick a new student. There, she meets the woman who became her replacement, Lizzie (Logan Browning, who was in Bratz: The Movie). Their shared experiences lead to fast friendship and near-immediate romance.

After a night of lovemaking - where Charlotte claims to be a virgin - they decide to rough it and backpack throughout China, but Lizzie becomes violently ill, needing more and more ibuprofen and water before becoming convinced that she is full of insects. After they're kicked off a bus, things go to their logical conclusion: Lizzie must chop off her hand if she's to survive.

That's when the film reveals its first twist: Charlotte was behind all of this, drugging her new lover with her dead mother's pills and then created each moment that led to the mutilation.

At the center of all of this are the teachers of Bachoff. Steven Weber plays Anton, who at first comes off as a gentle man who has taught hard lessons to create some of the best musicians of this generation, along with the help of his wife Paloma and fellow teachers Theis and Geoffrey. At the center of his teachings is The Chapel, an acoustically ideal room where only the best students are given a special tattoo and allowed to play "The Perfection," where any errors lead to horrible consequences.

Several times throughout The Perfection, there are rewinds to show us exactly what we've missed. I'd rather not reveal anything beyond that point, other than to say that the only upsetting thing I encountered was an arm slashing that was more based on the FX being quite effective than any worry for my mental safety. There's also plenty of rape language and threats, but you can see that coming way before it occurs.

Richard Shepard directed this, formerly working with Williams on the HBO series Girls. He has plenty of TV work on his resume such as the pilot episode of Ugly Betty, as well as the movie The Matador.

My major issue with the film - take it from the white CIS male - is that the only way that Charlotte found to free Lizzie from a lifetime of abuse is to subject her to, well, more abuse. It feels like it's exploiting the very audience that it's trying to lift up. And I'm fine with exploitation - as any quick spin through my list of reviews will show you - but when a film comes from Miramax - a studio whose history negatively has intersected with the #MeToo movement, this all comes off as pretty carny and not in a fun Kroger Babb kind of way. This review from Vox hits it right on the head: this is a film that wishes to "regurgitate the superficial beats of #MeToo...without actually interrogating the oppressive cultural underpinnings that begat the movement in the first place."

I guess maybe we expect too much from a Netflix film these days, maybe. Then again, at least it didn't rip off Suspiria as much as I thought it was going to. I admire that the film went from a disease outbreak film to a personal revenge story in a major twist, but it didn't shake my world as so many others have reported online. Then again, it seems the bar for worldshaking has been lowered to the ground floor in 2019.
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5/10
Way, way too much angry verbiage.
CinemaSerf9 November 2020
This is one of those films that had huge potential, but descended quickly into pretty foul mouthed hysteria that really isn't much substitute for any semblance of pace or style - nor for that matter, decent dialogue. "Charlotte" (Alison Williams) is a brilliant violinist who has to take time out from her studies to care for her mother. Years later, when her mother has died, she tries to pick up the threads of her musical career with sleazy mentor Steven Weber ("Anton") and ends up in China where she befriends his new protegé "Lizzie" (Logan Browning) with whom she takes a trip. On a Greyhound bus, "Lizzie" loses the plot somewhat; they are thrown off and what ensues is a faintly ridiculous series of escapades that demonstrate there was a lot more to their teacher than meets the eye and the most convoluted process of vengeance is soon on the cards... Is it a horror film? Well who knows, or indeed cares. It's angry and badly written; the story flails along with no real focus and the last twenty minutes or so are just nasty. It has no subtlety to it, and it's nigh on impossible to sympathise with the two girls - even despite the rather evil underlying storyline. One to avoid, sorry...
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The Perfection eview
JoeytheBrit28 June 2020
A sneaky horror that keeps tricking its audience into believing they know where it's going before doing an about turn and going in an all-together different direction. It's definitely a compelling watch with some effective moments, but it quickly falls apart under post-credits scrutiny. And the final shocker is straight out of American Mary.
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5/10
Original not boring even if it doesn't make complete sense
phd_travel22 September 2019
Warning: Spoilers
Be prepared to be surprised at this unpredictable horror movie about classical cellists. I like the format. Something crazy happens then there is an explanation. The story makes only partial sense. There's no way to justify chopping off the hand. So if you think of it the premise falls apart. But whatever it is you won't be bored. Grossed out maybe but not bored.
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7/10
not bad, but weird
trashgang31 May 2019
And so it was told here in the newspapers and social medie. The new flick on Netflix did make people sick or even vomit at their homes. Of course after Hereditary where the same was told I wasn't sure about The Perfection.

A slow starter that is just on the edge of boredom so I thought, hell, people afe writing about the bus, so I waited until the bus and I must say, it turns into a horror. And I can understand people are set up about the scene's on the bus but for horror geeks it isn't that heavy on any parts.

The originality lays in the fact how this movie evolves and is edited. Somehow it made me think of Brian De Palma. It do contain a lot of twist and you can't take it all that seriously. Towards the end the horror comes back in.

Overhyped indeed and a lot are fed up with thiw kind of promotion but look, I watched it also so I did dig the promotion. Was it bad, not at all, not for the squeamish, honestly, a weird flick.

Gore 0,5/5 Nudity 0,5/5 Effects 3/5 Story 3/5 Comedy 0/5
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7/10
Halfway through and there is an amazingly difficult fifteen minutes or so
christopher-underwood14 November 2019
Enjoyable with plenty of twists and turned to maintain the interest but ultimately throwaway. However because this goes one way, then another, inevitably some of these surprises are going to be pretty effective. The first quarter of an hour of so is very much concentrated in providing the musical setting and establishing for us the two young cellists. All sweet and light and there is only a tinge of something darker. Halfway through and there is an amazingly difficult fifteen minutes or so that really had me bracing myself in my chair. It is during this section that we get the first of, what I can only really describe as, alternative flashbacks. Interesting technique and keeps us on the edge of our chair, if the absolute horrors have subsided. The conclusion is fine and if there are moments when stuff seems a little silly there is always another twist to take your mind off it. Good film and for a TV movie, great.
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4/10
Far from 'perfect' horror film Warning: Spoilers
STAR RATING: ***** Saturday Night **** Friday Night *** Friday Morning ** Sunday Night * Monday Morning

Charlotte (Alison Williams) was a cello prodigy, who's hooked back up with her old friend Lizzie (Logan Browning), who was taught at the same music school and is now the new star attraction, playing to packed out concert halls. However, Charlotte callously convinces Lizzie to mutilate herself in an apparent act of jealousy, robbing her of the hand she hits the high notes with. Tracking her down for revenge, she is brought back into contact with Anton (Steven Weber) and Paloma (Alaina Huffman), the duo behind the prestigious music school, only to fall foul of the sinister truth behind their methods to achieve 'perfection.'

Some of the best horror films of old simply had wonderful stories that worked well within the confines of their perimeters. Nowadays, aside from being weighed down with leaden CGI and cheap jump scares, it seems they're always trying to have some sort of social commentary, or trying to be all artsy fartsy, which certainly seems to be the case in the opening stages of this misfiring film from director David Shepard.

Running in at a slender hour and a half, it has limited time to start making sense, which it does more so within the first half hour. But while you're more able to make out what's going on at least, that doesn't make it any more plausible or rational. Not least when you consider the central premise involves one of the heroines getting the other heroine break free from a mind control programme.....BY SAWING HER HAND OFF!!! If the writers aren't willing to make any sense, why should I? Hell, why doesn't the girl just stick a hook where her severed hand is and call herself 'Candygirl.' She could say she's Candyman's daughter...

Add to this some laughable sped up rewind footage that puts you in mind of Benny Hill, and you've really got something that feels more like a comedy than any horror film. Some decent performances and a slightly creepy atmosphere can't gloss over something so decidedly 'imperfect.' **
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9/10
9
Edvis-199731 December 2019
Well I loved this idea,plot and acting. Ending was not right but still one of the best movie of 2019
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Fun to an extent
Red_Identity27 May 2019
The first half is much stronger than the second, when it makes its points obvious yet it becomes too much.
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9/10
first 60 minutes are completely extrardinary
A_Different_Drummer7 November 2019
So good in fact that the last half hour, although clever, is something of a let-down. The production values and acting, however, are themselves worthy of their titular namesake.
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4/10
The Perfection: Far from perfect
Platypuschow25 May 2019
What a weird creature this new Netflix movie is, I went in knowing absolutely nothing and walked away wishing I had.

Starring Allison "Get Out"Williams, Steven Weber and Logan Browning it has no problems with its cast at all, solid performers who deliver great performances here.

It's a strange little tale that would be hard to describe on here without giving away spoilers. Let's just say it twists, it turns, it provides flashbacks and I found it utterly unpredictable which is at least something in its favor.

The production values are great, the soundtrack is near flawless, so why the low rating? Well sadly as great as everything else is (And it really is) the plot/script fall apart in a truly impressive way.

The more you think about the plot afterwards the more bafflingly ridiculous it gets. So it doesn't matter if the cast are great, the movie looks good and the soundtrack delivers if the story is a raggedy mess.

If you've seen it take a moment, think about it, think about the decisions that people make and the whole think becomes rather offensively silly.

Memorable, but not even remotely enjoyable.

The Good:

Steven Weber and Logan Browning

Looks and sounds the part

The Bad:

The plot is an abominable mess
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5/10
ive always said that classical musicians are weird stuff
ops-5253526 May 2019
Have a look at this strange movie about 2 cellists that takes kinda revenge for a damaged childhood. its a story that has a loose spring, or fast spooling back several times, to show what really happens, so dont be dissapointed when it happens,though i dont like that kinda flicks

its a film filled with soothing and beautiful cello music and there are at times so good filming that i almost ordered a ticket to shanghai at once.

the 2 main actors are good, the rest on average to below.

its more a thriller than horror, and a bit more romance than drama, so the grumpy old man give a small recommendation to watch this
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10/10
Masterpiece in unique horror!
UniqueParticle15 October 2019
Deeply unsettling LGBT thrill ride! My favorite type of film where it's very bizarre and effed up while also having layers. Extraordinary sound design and emotions that keep you intrigued till the end. Maybe I'm weird but I relish this type of madness, I want more of it and absolutely love the camera angles/style! The Perfection is one of the best things I have ever seen on Netflix! I'll definitely need to use the platform more I realize I missed some goodies out of a lovely treasure chest.
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6/10
A twisting and turning horror thriller
eddie_baggins3 June 2019
The Perfection certainly isn't the most polished film going around, but this twisting and turning Netflix released horror with a difference is sure to tickle that horror itch that viewers will be seeking, as director Richard Shepard takes us on a depraved, wild and wince-inducing journey through a mad music filled world.

Cutting his teeth in feature films such as The Matador and Dom Hemingway and TV events such as recent Twilight Zone eps and Girls, Shepard brings a wealth of experience to the relatively low-budget Perfection and nails his casting in the form of leads Allison Williams and Logan Browning.

Once more donning the crazy persona and manic expressions she has made her own over recent years (particularly in huge breakthrough Get Out), Williams plays the scheming a mysterious music prodigy Charlotte, who after years at home looking after her ill mother, strikes up a relationship with fellow classical musician Lizzie (played by Browning), who is also a fellow student of Steve Weber's famed teacher Anton.

Broken down into specific chapters that are announced with title cards, Perfection's journey starts out in a seemingly by the numbers manner, with echoes of past mentally unhinged horrors such as Black Swan and Suspiria no doubt influencers on the vibe Shepard is aiming for here but it doesn't take long for this tale of manipulation, double crosses and horrific bus trips to enter into some seriously off-kilter scenarios that will keep you guessing until the memorable final scene plays out.

Full credit must go to Williams and Browning who go all in with their performances, they're not particularly likable creations they're playing but we begin to warm to their individual reasoning's and causes as we find out more about what makes them tick and while we may at times think we've nailed them down, Shepard and his writing partners Nicole Snyder and Eric C. Charmelo ensure that nothing ever remains stale or predictable for too long.

It's also nice to be able to sit back and watch a horror take you to some surprising and fresh places and while much of what happens in Perfection isn't overly original (we've seen countless iterations of this revenge type horror play out for decades gone by), the way in which things transpire and scenes come out of nowhere to shock and prod makes the rough and raw nature of The Perfection more easy to bare.

Final Say -

Prepare for winces and squirms as The Perfection takes no prisoners on its shocking journey of revenge and the quest for the perfect performance. Grounded by memorable turns from its two lead performers, The Perfection is one of the better Netflix horror offerings that have come our way in recent times.

3 meat cleavers out of 5
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7/10
The trailer makes u believe that it is another film on infectious disease....
Fella_shibby28 May 2019
But this is a solid thriller with enuff twists n turns. The acting is top notch. Do not read more about this film or the climax might get spoiled.
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9/10
Wonderful...
RosanaBotafogo9 January 2021
Although it was filmed in 2018, released 2019, it was a huge premonition huh, the girl supposedly infected with a malignant disease in Hanun, China, very contagious, who gets caught in the air, creed... The film is wonderful, it starts with a drama and a horror is set, with a huge plot twist, excellent girls performance, beautiful scenes of love, rivalry and terror, great ending... Wonderful...
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5/10
A Farewell to Arms
southdavid16 September 2021
Though I think I had taken a look at the picture (and possibly even the trailer) on Netflix before, it wasn't until I listened to Richard Shepard on the "Films to be buried with" Podcast, in which he was talking about what was then his upcoming film, that I decided to give it a go. Like many of the other reviews have posited, even now (around three weeks after I watched the film) I'm not sure what I think of it.

Having dropped out of a prestigious musical academy to care for her dying mother, Charlotte Willmore (Allison Williams) reaches out to her former tutor several years later. In Shanghai, she meets up with Anton (Steven Weber) and is introduced to his latest cello prodigy Lizzie (Logan Browning). Charlotte and Lizzie are attracted to each other and spend the night together, Charlotte then agrees to accompany Lizzie on a short holiday in rural China. Almost immediately Lizzie falls ill, and her vomit contains maggots. Having been thrown of the bus, Lizzie can see creatures moving under her skin and takes a drastic measure to save herself.

I do try and keep my reviews spoiler free and that might be quite the needle to thread from here on out, but it's soon apparent that all is not exactly as we've seen. The movie then literally rewinds to show us some aspects of the story so far that we weren't privy to, which explains some actions, but also offers up more questions. This is a trick the film does a few more times, each time operating like a reverse twist, providing more information than you previously had. It doesn't fully work, particularly with time to actually sit down and think about it. The movie tries to sell you the idea that one of its characters has planned the events, but there's just far too many variables that could have gone against them to make that possible.

The performances are good, and I liked the music. If you look at the other reviews here, you see about as many people loved it as didn't and to be honest, cheap as this sounds, I can't argue against the points made by either camp. I suppose the bottom line is that I'm unlikely to ever sit down and watch it again.
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5/10
Twisted Thriller!
gwnightscream1 June 2019
Warning: Spoilers
This 2018 thriller stars Allison Williams, Logan Browning and Steven Weber. Williams (Get Out) plays Charlotte, a young woman who is mourning the loss of her late, mother. She decides to get back in music for the academy she learned to play as a child and meets music prodigy, Lizzie (Browning) whom she finds romance with. Things take a very shocking turn when they head home from Shanghai and Lizzie becomes ill. Weber (Wings) plays Anton, the head of the music academy. I'd definitely call this a twisted film because it not only provides plot twists, but it has disturbing, dramatic and tense moments as well. The cast is decent, I like the score and there's some nice scenery settings. If you're into psychological type thrillers, give this a try.
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10/10
A thriller masterpiece
jtindahouse1 June 2019
I once read a list of the top 100 movie characters of all time and I remember there only being 6 female characters on the list. Over the years Hollywood has always struggled to make females the leads of their movies. 'The Perfection' is a film that proves just how brilliant female characters can be. I watched the trailer for this film a few days a go and it hooked me in. It was one of the most bizarre trailers I'd ever seen and I needed to see the actual film to know what it was really about. Needless to say, I was not disappointed.

The film is basically broken into two halves. And each half is a masterpiece of its own. The first half is some of the most intriguing cinema I have seen in a long time. I literally could not look away from the screen. I needed to know what was happening and what would happen next. If there had been a power cut at that point and time I may have had to drive to the nearest suburb with power to keep watching.

Then the second half of the film is rather different, but equally brilliant. I loved how dark this film was willing to get. Filmmakers who aren't afraid to be daring in their films has to be the way of the future. The sooner we stop accepting films that play it safe and by the book, the sooner films will begin to turn around their quality. 'The Perfection' is a near perfect film in itself, and one that I highly recommend you take the time to see.
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7/10
What do you call "fisting" with no fist?
jadavix22 February 2020
The first forty-five minutes or so of "The Perfection" show you what "body horror" truly is. Forget "Starry Eyes" or even anything with Cronenberg's name attached: this ups the stakes and is really hard to watch.

Then the movie switches gears, going from horror to psych-thriller. Unsurprisingly, it loses momentum, but is still interesting.

Then, there's another gear change, and it lost me too much, and I had to find fault in it, particularly the structure. There is some brilliant filmmaking in it, but I think the problem was at the screenplay level. They needed to rethink their approach.

Because of that, it's good, but falls short of greatness.
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5/10
Not a high note horror film but quite mystery and watchable! Surprise me!
kwenchow5 June 2019
Warning: Spoilers
At the beginning of the film, I really reckon this is a boring romance film! But instead it is a revenge film! Charlotte plotting with Lizzie to revenge the rapist "Anton" for her mother and set all the girl he capture free! After the scene at the bus, the film turn into very intense until the end! The bus scene turnout, just a setup from Charlotte! She poisoned Lizzie to hallucinate and chop off her own hand! Lizzie thinking is because Charlotte jealous of her career, but instead she want her aware of Anton sins and revenge with her! Have some nudity scene when Lizzie and Charlotte having sex at the beginning of the film! At the very end, Anton's legs and hands chop off by the two main actress! A fair enough film to enjoy! That's all!
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5/10
The Perfection
henry8-327 May 2019
Williams is a brilliant cellist who has to sacrifice this to nurse her dying mother. When she dies, Williams returns to her tutor where she meets the next prodigy.

Twist and turns effectively, albeit some elements are fairly predictable. Williams is good and the pace is well maintained resulting in a satisfactorily gruesome climax and fitting conclusion.
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