Skip to main content

Allison Williams in The Perfection.

Courtesy of Netflix

  • The Perfection
  • Directed by: Richard Shepard
  • Written by: Richard Shepard, Eric C. Charmelo and Nicole Snyder
  • Starring: Allison Williams, Logan Browning and Steven Weber
  • Classification: N/A; 90 minutes

rating

Since it premiered at the genre-centric Fantastic Fest this past September in Austin, Tex., The Perfection has been floating on a very particular kind of horror-movie high. Early reviews pegged Richard Shepard’s thriller as intense, unpredictable and especially brutal in its violence. Netflix acquired worldwide distribution rights immediately, likely hoping the film’s intensity would so rivet subscribers that they’d passively binge whatever content was queued into their feeds immediately afterward. That may very well happen, but not due to any sort of entrancing filmmaking – most everyone who watches The Perfection will instead be staring at the screen slack-jawed, dumbfounded at the gory silliness they endured.

New movies in theatres and on Netflix and VOD, from the nightmare fuel of Aladdin to four-star feminist comedy Booksmart

The tale of a once-promising cellist (Allison Williams) who seeks revenge on the rising star (Logan Browning) who usurped her immediately evokes comparisons to Black Swan, especially once Shepard adds in a psychosexual element. But the film is less concerned with themes of creative jealousy and professional ruin than it is with the fine art of the cinematic fake-out – a trick that Shepard overuses as he attempts to pile on one twist after another, to increasingly diminishing effect. And this is before the story melts into a cheap rape-revenge tale, where sexual assault is perversely used as a convenient plot device.

Story continues below advertisement

Williams, Browning and Steven Weber – the latter of whom pops up as a this-guy-has-to-be-evil cello expert – offer fully committed performances, with Williams especially impressive in her ability to bug the hell out. But surely they could all tell that The Perfection’s screenplay fell far short of its title promise.

The Perfection begins streaming May 24 on Netflix.

Report an error Editorial code of conduct
Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

Comments that violate our community guidelines will be removed.

Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

Cannabis pro newsletter