A lot of hype is surrounding The Platform. It played at The Toronto International Film Festival and was subsequently bought by Netflix, of course it was. What isn’t? I’ve been putting off watching it ‘cause I’m a big baby, and The Platform has apparently been giving Blair Witch Project a run for it’s money as scariest movie ever.
The Platform follows Goreng who ignorantly volunteers to be imprisoned in The Hole for six months. The Hole is a vertical prison with one cell per floor, two prisoners per cell. There are about 200 floors. In the middle of the cell is a hole in which a platform goes from the top floor to the bottom floor. The platform is full of delicious food. The top floor gets to eat first, then second, then third, and so on. The more people eat, the less food there is for the lower floors, who have to eat scraps and even turn to cannibalism.
The characters are well written and superbly acted. Whether it’s a mad cannibal that haunts Goreng even after his death, an Administration employee who wants to understand what goes on in The Hole, or a woman who will do anything to find her daughter who may or may not exist. The movie works best when all these characters are trying to determine a way to survive.
However, it isn’t scary, not at all. Sure, there are a few intense, gruesome, and sometimes even funny (or maybe I’m just sick) scenes of cannibalism, but it’s more shocking than anything. Just don’t eat spaghetti while watching it. The Platform is torture porn with half baked metaphors.
We are constantly hit over the head with biblical references. Because if there’s anything else this film needs, it’s biblical references, right? As Goreng tries to convince other prisoners to ration the food so every prisoner can have their share, prisoners tell him to stop acting like a messiah. Yadda, yadda, yadda, more biblical references, next thing you know the guy sacrifices himself. Ugh, please.
There are a couple of reveals that are truly heart sinking. The moment we find out there are way more floors than expected is horrifying. But it’s bittersweet because, if there are so many floors that it’s impossible for everyone to get a ration of food, what is the point of the experiment?
There are way too many plot holes for a 90 minute movie with a simple premise. Why would Goreng volunteer to go in to a prison of all places, knowing nothing about it? Why does the platform even exist? The platform magically descends and ascends without any mechanism and we just accept that? Why was the girl there in the first place? Either the Administration was lying or Goreng was imagining her. Both are terrible explanations. The screenplay feels like a first draft.
The moral of the story is don’t be greedy. OK, got it. Thanks. I really needed to watch a convoluted torture porn to understand that. If you like Saw, you’ll like this. If you like the Saw sequels, you’ll love this. I understand why The Platform is getting so much hype, but I just wish it was well written, more fleshed out, and less up its own arse.