International Film: The Platform (2019)

Tilly Williams tales a look at the anti-capitalist Netflix horror The Platform.

Tilly Williams
7th April 2020
The Platform (2019) (SPN:El Hoyo) is a Spanish science-fiction horror film which has recently made a breakthrough deal with Netflix’s streaming platform.

The film follows one basic premise, a prison with hundreds of floors has a platform with food slowly moving down the floors, rooms at the top getting first dibs of the food while it begins to slowly run out leaving nothing for the lower floors, each month the floors are switched around, with inmates moving above or bellow where they once were randomly.

So the film lends itself to a very literal metaphor to capitalism, with the higher floors symbolising the upper classes, gorging on excess food, leaving none left for the lower classes, a critique of the capitalist system, and as a politics student I enjoyed a lot of the references to consumer culture which was done in a rather abstract but also funny way.

But is it actually a good film? For the average person and not a film student or wannabe auteur, analysing deep neo-liberal subtexts and studying Marxist theory isn’t really what we look for in films to watch to get over the boredom of isolation, then again whose to say that the lock down won’t turn us into education deprived students looking for any form of essay to write to regain structure in life.

The film stars Spanish actor Ivan Massagué (background). Some of Massagué's former credits inlude the Pastor Brother's The Last Days (2013) & the Oscar-winning 2006 masterpiece Pan's Labyrinth (2006). Image:IMDB

The film is marketed as a horror film and it certainly delivers on very grotesque gore, which many reviewers on rotten tomatoes have stated was a turn off, although for me I found it worked well within the films context, and kept me hooked. The sci-fi aspect did sadly fall apart if you questioned too much about the world presented to you, there was a lot of parts which were illogical such as how the platform moved down the floors? Who built this prison and why? How has nobody complained about what is presumably either a massive skyscraper or a giant hole in the earth? Where are the guards? So you do have to suspend your disbelief somewhat in order to enjoy the film, especially as the ending was insanely unsatisfying without fully buying into the metaphors, perhaps relying too heavily on them as I found in movies similar to this such as The Cube (1997), it was a lot more satisfying to finish and easier to accept how illogical some of the aspects were.

That said, it was incredibly entertaining, I found myself hooked up until the final ‘twist’ at the end which was too abstract for me to get the full enjoyment and satisfaction out of, however it did succeed in being very memorable and prominent in my mind for a while after, this film will definitely make you think as well as google what the hell it was all about. I would rate this film 4 stars and would recommend any fans of the Cube, horror fans or sci-fi fans to check it out.

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