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Frank's Movie Log

My life at the movies.

A still from The Perfection (2018)

The Perfection

2018 | CanadaUnited States | 90 min
  • Watched on Sunday Feb 7, 2021 via Netflix
    B-: 4 stars (out of 5)

    After a decade away caring for her ailing mother, a cello prodigy returns to the musical world, where she meets a fellow prodigy. Bad things ensue.

    Engaging performances, clever structure, gruesome effects, and arresting visuals mask gaping plot holes ready to surface upon the slightest introspection. But the film proves a masterclass in misdirection, assaulting us with body horror, graphic violence, and suspense, and upending our expectations with time-jumps and surprise reveals.

    It’s an entertaining ride, but I’m not sure the bonkers execution jives with the central horror. It needed another abstraction. Rosemary’s Baby was about women’s reproductive rights, but the central horror was a devil baby, allowing the film to ride the line between high-camp and horror. The Perfection is about—well, I won’t spoil it, but suffice it to say there’s no devil baby-like abstraction. Not a deal-breaker, but it would be easier to forgive the specious plotting if the big horror was also bonkers.