The Spanish dystopian horror thriller The Platform, which debuted in 2019 at the Toronto Film Festival, has just hit Netflix for streaming this month—and is sending shockwaves through the horror community and beyond. Indeed, Uproxx reports that it's one of the top 10 most-watched movies on Netflix right now.
A socioeconomic allegory stands in a startlingly relevant context in this 2019 Spanish horror thriller, 'The Platform,' now available for streaming on Netflix.
For all those looking for some quarantine catharsis without queuing up a , this dark and tense flick is a perfect choice. What's more, the socio-economic message coursing through The Platform makes it a must-see picture that speaks to our uncertain times.
Like the 1997 cult sci-fi horror movie Cube or Bong Joon-ho's dystopian thriller Snowpiercer, The Platform takes great pleasure in merging dark humor with allegory and grotesque dilemmas. The plot centers on “The Pit,” a towering prison with a bleak organizational system. The vertical penal institution is comprised of hundreds of levels, with each level serving as a cell that contains just two people. Every day, a single platform of food descends through the levels. Upon entering a particular cell, the platform pauses; the two prisoners are then allowed to feed for two minutes before the platform continues its journey to the bottom of the prison.
The twist—well, apart from what is an already ghastly setting—is that the food is never replenished once the platform begins its descent. Those prisoners at the very top of the tower eat as much fresh food as they can handle in two minutes, while each subsequent level must pick over the soiled scraps. The most unlucky captives at the very bottom are left to starve—or otherwise figure out how to survive their nightmarish ordeal. Of course, there's more than enough food to feed all the prisoners, but that would require the consideration of the inmates at the higher levels to portion out what appears before them.
The Platform's main character is Goreng, played by Ivan Massagué. You may recognize Massagué from the Spanish epidemic thriller or as El Tarta from Guillermo del Toro's . Goreng awakes in The Pit as a newcomer. His jaded and demented cellmate, Trimagasi (Zorion Eguileor) explains the ways of the prison. Adding to the ominous setting is Miharu (Alexandra Masangkay), an enigmatic woman who rides down on the food platform each month.
As the nightmarish stakes of the situation become clear, Goreng and his fellow the cellmates are forced to choose: work together or survive at all costs?
It's easy to see how The Platform is an apt picture for our uncertain moment, despite the fact that it came out last year. As more and more communities shelter in place, some individuals have turned to hoarding non-perishable goods and household necessities like toilet paper, leaving succeeding shoppers to sort through picked-over shelves and scramble for anything they can find. While the prisoners in The Platform are within shouting distance of one another, the harsh construction of the prison places the have-nots of the lower floors miles apart from those at the top. Meanwhile, as many of us enter into indefinite quarantine—either with family members, roommates, or on our own—the experience of this safety measure is both isolating and paranoia-inducing. Our neighbors may reside just across the street or on the other side of a wall, yet it feels as though they're strangers lightyears away.
Screenwriters David Desola and Pedro Rivero, in collaboration with director Galder Gaztelu-Urrutia, have delivered a shocking and satirical horror romp of desperation, wild violence, and sick sadism. Without question, The Platform is a grim watch. All those who dislike gore should avoid it. Yet the movie also seeks to remind viewers that we as a society have the power to beat back nightmares and make it out alive if we choose to work together.
So does Goreng survive? Is their light at the end of this very dark tunnel/tower? Such questions are likely what propelled The Platform to the top of the Netflix streaming charts. We won't spoil the twist ending for you. Instead, if you do choose to settle in tonight with this chilling horror thriller, we'll just say good luck. And when we do emerge from these dark days and venture back into the world, let's remember to be kind to one another.
Stream The Platform on Netflix now with the link below!
Featured image of "The Platform" via Basque Films