Starring: Iván Massagué, Zorion Eguileor, Antonia San Juan, Emilio Buale, Alexandra Masangkay
Writer: David Desola & Pedro Rivero
Director: Galder Gaztelu-Urrutia
Studio: Basque Films, Mr. Miyagi Films, Plataforma La Película, A.I.E
Original title: El Hoyo
When I saw the trailer for The Platform (2019), I knew I wanted to watch it as soon as possible. I’m not a horror fan (although I love a good horror movie every once in a while, when in the mood), but I love thrillers and thrillers combined with horror. The Platform ticked that box.
Usually, when I watch a movie, I use my phone a couple of times during the movie because I have the attention span of a squirrel. While watching The Platform, I did not touch my phone once. This movie had my undivided attention, and that’s rare. When I finished it, I yelled, “holy shit!” (and thus possibly worrying my neighbors). So I’m going to explain to you why I think this is such a good movie.
The Platform is about a vertical prison with over a hundred floors. Each floor has a hole in the middle through which a platform with food passes through every day. On the first floor, two prisoners get to enjoy a huge buffet. After a minute or so, the platform moves down to the next floor, where the next two prisoners can eat. The platform keeps moving through every floor, leaving only scraps for the floors to come, and only empty dishes and glasses for those at the bottom.
Each month the prisoners get assigned to a new floor, either up or down. So it’s all a matter of being lucky, because if you and your cellmate end up near the bottom, hunger might make you do something you don’t want to do.
The hero of the story is Goreng, who is new to “the hole,” as the prisoners call it. He realizes that if everyone only ate what they needed, the food would reach the bottom of the prison. However, people are greedy, so that won’t happen. He wants to make a change in the prison, but that will cost him more than he could ever imagine.
The moment I fell in love with the movie was when one of the characters held a little monologue about buying a knife. If you watch it, you’ll know what I’m talking about. The monologue was a case of strong writing while also being creative. But that’s just a small thing I loved.
The overall concept of the movie was very intriguing to me because, in a way, it reflects society as we know it. Those “higher up” take more than they should and leave the scraps for those below. It felt very accurately timed, especially with the whole hoarding situation going on in grocery stores right now.
The movie gets very gruesome and quite horrifying, but it was those moments that got me on the edge of my seat, yelling at characters who couldn’t hear me. I felt my heart pound in my chest, silently cheering for Goreng as I clutched the blanket I had wrapped around me. This movie got me completely in its grasp, and I let it happen. There was one part of the film fairly early on that had me aghast at what was happening on the screen. I’ll give you a hint: slow cannibalism.
The Platform is honestly such a mindf*ck despite the concept being very clear. Every time Goreng would wake up on a new floor, I was so anxious to see the number on the floor. Did he move up or down? That’s what the prisoners felt, too, when opening their eyes on the first of the month. And if the answer wasn’t to their liking, then, well. The hole goes really, really far down, if you get what I’m saying.
If you’re up for 1 hour and 34 minutes of pure nerve-wracking good cinema, then The Platform is the right movie for you. Be warned. It’s really messed up and probably not for the faint-hearted. But then again, that’s why it’s a horror movie.
The Platform can be streamed on Netflix.