“There are three kinds of people; the ones above, the ones below, and the ones who fall…”
My wife is obsessed with horror films. To the point where I have to fight to have anything that doesn’t prominently feature grisly murder on our TV screen. So when she asked to turn The Platform off after 35 minutes because she thought she was going to throw up, I knew we were watching something quite different from the norm…
Goreng (Ivan Massagué) is a seemingly average Spanish guy who volunteers to take part in a social experiment for six months in exchange for a university degree. Needless to say, Goreng doesn’t realise the horrors that he will face until he wakes up to find himself living with a murderous roomate (Zorion Eguileor) and only leftovers from those in the cells above them to eat.
The Platform wastes no time in outlining the kind of film it is going to be. This is not one for the faint hearted. While it isn’t quite as desperately nihilistic as Martyrs nor as downright nasty as Inside, The Platform is still one of the most disturbing films I have seen since Hereditary. The key is that there is always method behind the madness. The most gruelling moments are always in service to the story. A story that twists and turns so much that it is impossible to get a handle on what will happen next.
First time director Galder Gaztelu-Urrutia has crafted a world not dissimilar to the labyrinthine dystopia set out in the ’90s horror classic Cube – the difference being that The Platform is dripping in explosive social commentary and jet black humour. This is a film that had me on the edge of my seat from start to finish. Indeed, it is rare to feel so engaged in something in this era of instant gratification and The Platform remains compelling from start to finish – aided by a relatively skinny running time of just over 90 minutes.
The Platform will be too much for some, but for those who can stomach it, Gaztelu-Urrutia’s debut feature has all the hallmarks of an instant horror cult classic. It may be grim, it may be shocking, it may even be bloody disgusting, but above all, The Platform is powerful and important cinema. And for that, it must be celebrated.