The Perfection – USA, 2018

‘It’s time to face the music’

The Perfection is a 2018 American horror feature film directed by Richard Shepard (Salem TV series) from a screenplay co-written with Eric C. Charmelo and Nicole Snyder. The Capstone Film Group production stars Allison Williams, Logan Browning and Steven Weber.

Interviewed recently by Heather Wixson for Daily Dead, director Richard Shephard said:

” …we wrote the movie wanting to tell an interesting story that was both genre-bending and had an emotional dovetail to it, too, and the fact is that Allison Williams and Logan Browning are incredibly articulate, passionate performers and people. They became my partners in this movie in terms of making sure that their characters were well-rounded and realistic, and that what we were doing was not exploitative, even if there were exploitative elements to the storytelling and to the movie. And yeah, it feels very current, some of the issues we talk about, and some of that is the pressure the people are feeling, the world that women have been living in and exposing some real problems in society.

Shephard went on to say: “I think it’s great that we’re talking about these things, and having these two strong women actors as partners with me making the movie helped me as a 54-year-old white man, tell the story in a different way than I might have told it without their participation and help.” Read the full interview at Daily Dead

Plot:

When troubled musical prodigy Charlotte (Allison Williams) seeks out Elizabeth (Logan Browning), the new star pupil of her former school, the encounter sends both musicians down a sinister path with shocking consequences…

Reviews:

“Multiple perspective shifts suggest we shouldn’t trust the movie, but there’s a big difference between a film being unreliable and losing the plot altogether. The Perfection wants to be an indulgent, overripe revenge fantasy, but a rotten core makes it impossible to enjoy.” Russ Fischer, Birth. Movies. Death.

The Perfection consistently shocks and surprises and takes so many twists and turns you don’t expect that you’re bound to get whiplash. It is a fabulously twisted film that can’t easily fit into one genre. It’s all at once a horror film, a comedy, a revenge thriller, a character study, a trashy grindhouse flick and so much more.” Trace Thurman, Bloody Disgusting

The Perfection is a nicely composed, sometimes bizarre, and sometimes fascinating genre mash-up. With a great performance from Allison Williams, it’s a pleasant surprise to see a film play with genre in such interesting ways, even when it doesn’t always work out like it should.” Monte Yazzie, Daily Dead

“The movie starts to head into one direction, but then, as it goes on, it begins to shift into something else– something gnarlier, something more outre. And it’s still not done. As it goes on, it reverses, and shifts, and mutates from there, and you never quite know what to expect next. It’s a three card monte film, only it’s impossible to keep your eyes on the card.” Johnny Donaldson, Daily Grindhouse

The Perfection gets downright vicious at times, bearing some resemblance to tightly-wound thrillers like The Handmaiden. It slowly pulls you in and gets you comfortable, plays with character perspectives to throw you off its scent, and explodes with brutality to enter a whole new realm of WTF. Every moment you think the story is going to zig, it zags.” Preston Barta, Denton Record-Chronicle

” …a phenomenal piece of entertainment. It bares its roots that look like De Palma’s best manifestations of tension, brutality that is gnarly and in full view, exposing — and no, I’m not exaggerating — the kind of bloodlust you’d see in horror films from South Korea or Norway […] It’s a hell of a ride.” Neil Miller, Film School Rejects

“This film is an absolute blast. It’s an empowering message marred in horror, tragedy and overall WTF gasps. It’s surely one of the most riveting films of the year and will be burned into your brain long after its ghastly crescendo.” James Cole Clay, Fresh Fiction

” …the story is all about misdirection. He [Richard Shepard] is somewhat able to explore different genres in tandem with the main plot. The result of which keeps the audience guessing and thoroughly shocked. And it works brilliantly.” Marc Ciafardini, Go See Talk

“When the film commits to its midnight movie madness, it develops a personality above the often pedestrian visuals Shepard offers up but one wonders what a different, more daring director might have done with this material. Cruelly titled, The Perfection is far from it.” Benjamin Lee, The Guardian

“Should you get annoyed with plot elements or feel that there are plot holes in The Perfection, then please just stay tuned. This story does go back and forth a few times to explain things […] Also, the actual ending of The Perfection is absolutely glorious in the most twisted and delicious way.” Karina Adelgaard, Heaven of Horror

“It’s gloriously campy and very clearly doesn’t take itself too seriously (I mean, how can you when you cast Steven Weber?). It’s really hard to talk about anything else without giving it all away — so I’ll just say while it’s easy to see where the story is going, it’s impossible to anticipate how it gets there. I f*cking loved it, and I think this one is destined to become a cult classic.” Amie Simon, I Love Splatter!

“I’m all for films to be unpredictable, but one moment we’re in Eli Roth’s Hostel (2005), and the next we’re in Lucky McKee’s May, 2002. First we’re surrounded by opulence and operas, the next bile and bus trips. Still unsure of where we’re headed, and who we’re with.” Kimberley Elizabeth, Nightmare on Film Street

Title cards lead us through the chapters in the film, but the actual mechanics of these markers go far beyond merely signposts. The Perfection’s playfulness and body horror anchor an uncommon film into some incredibly entertaining waters. A strong stomach and good humor will be rewarded kindly by this one.” Deirdre Crimmins, Rue Morgue

De Palma style diopter shots are sprinkled throughout the film as well as elements of gore and violence reminiscent of Korean horror films. Shepard’s feature violently plucks at your heartstrings and cements itself as a relevant, albeit brutal allegory for conversation topics revolving around trauma.” Marisa Mirabel, Slash Film

Release:

The Perfection was released globally on Netflix on May 24, 2019.

Cast and characters:

  • Allison Williams … Charlotte – Get Out
  • Alaina Huffman … Paloma – Deep Focus; Supernatural TV series; Pendulum
  • Steven Weber … Anton – iZombie TV series; Channel Zero: The Dream Door; Sleepy Hollow TV series; Crawlspace 2013; Masters of Horror TV series; Dracula: Dead and Loving It
  • Logan Browning … Lizzie
  • Evelyn Chew … Mother on Bus
  • Glynis Davies … Aunt
  • Winnie Hung … Mingzhu
  • Graeme Duffy … Geoffrey
  • Christina Jastrzembska … Aunt
  • Stephen Chang … Elderly Man
  • Doralynn Mui … Guest at Party #3
  • Milah Thompson … Young Lizzie
  • Molly Grace … Young Charlotte
  • Vince Tsang … Man at Party
  • Leanne Wang … Young Lady on Bus

Filming locations:

Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

Related:

Brian De Palma films

More horror on Netflix

New and upcoming movies

South Korean horror

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