M.L. Miller here and welcome to my tenth anniversary Best in Horror Countdown! I have also compiled a list of horror films that worth noting to tack on to my Best of Countdown. Some of these films just barely missed the main Best of list and some are just films released through the year I thought stood out in one way or another. Do not forget to like and share my picks with your pals across the web on your own personal social media. And please chime in down in the comments and let me know what you think of the film, how on the nose or mind-numbingly wrong I am, or you can counter with your own darn list! Enjoy this Best of Horror Extra!
Released on March 20, 2020. Streaming exclusively on Netflix!
THE PLATFORM (2019)
aka EL HOYO
Directed by Galder Gaztelu-Urrutia
Written by David Desola, Pedro Rivero
Starring Ivan Massagué, Zorion Eguileor, Antonia San Juan, Emilio Buale, Alexandra Masangkay, Zihara Llana, Mario Pardo, Algis Arlauskas, Txubio Fernández de Jáuregui, Eric Goode
Find out more about this film here!!
I know there are those of you who might feel that THE PLATFORM is a film deserving of being on the main list. It was the most watched film on Netflix this year, for god’s sake, so it deserves some sort of mention. But for reasons I’m about to get into, THE PLATFORM worked more as an idea, but less so as a film for me. Maybe it’s a film that promotes a cultural belief system that I am not completely sold on. I’ll admit that the fact this this is a film that tries to tell a story about communism/socialism’s advantages over capitalism is a compelling one, especially cast against the screen of a science fiction landscape. Still, I feel there are problems with the way this message is communicated and that gave me pause to put it in the main list. I do want to recognize it as a note-worthy movie, which is why it still is being highlighted as a bonus extra review rather than a main installment in the countdown.
THE PLATFORM is a strong allegory arguing the strengths of socialism and communism. I am no expert, but as I understand it, this is the belief that if we work as a community, society moves forward. It’s about equal distribution of goods, wealth, and power from the top down and I think in an ideal world, that might work. But, if I’m being completely honest, we don’t live in an ideal world and it would only work if everyone was lobotomized and scrubbed clean of all dreams, aspirations, and hopes. It’s my opinion. You may think differently, and I respect that. Just as I don’t really care to try to change your mind, please don’t try to change mine.
Basically, the story of THE PLATFORM takes place in a containment facility that houses a group of people selected for a scientific study. I would say it is a prison, but some of the participants in this program are volunteers. Others ARE criminals, forced to live with another inmate on a multi-leveled facility for a specific amount of time. A few times a day, a platform full of food lowers from the floor above, offering the inmates a chance to eat. Once they are finished, the food moves on to the lower levels, but the food isn’t replenished. Eventually, the food is all consumed and the lower the level, the less food there is for those occupying them. One volunteer, Goreng (Ivan Massagué) is worried about the occupants below and tries to hatch a scheme to have the upper levels eat only a portion of their food in order to provide food for those suffering in the lower levels. While at first they are reluctant to do so, Goreng begins a movement of sorts which attempts to thwart and overcome the system which very much is based on a capitalist system where those in the higher classes get more while the lower classes get less.
THE PLATFORM seems cool in theory. I think the writing is smart. The acting is great throughout. There seems to have been quite a deal of money thrown into this production, a rather ironic fact given the material it covers. It feels like a very interesting college thesis paper that entertains on an intellectual level, providing an interesting what if, but then leaping to a conclusion that requires a lot of cards to fall into place in order to work. The most compelling scenes occur in the beginning as Goreng is getting used to the way the platform system works and how to survive from his gruff cellmate Trimagasi (Zorion Eguileor) acting as a mentor or tour guide for a price. The premise is being explained and experienced for the viewer and Goreng for the first time and these opening moments are the strongest of the film because they do a good job of explaining the premise in an thrilling and vivid way.
When Goreng begins his quest is where this film loses me. I can get behind a man on a mission story. I can get behind just about any kind of story told if it’s entertaining. What turns me off of a film is when it gets preachy and that’s exactly what happens in the latter portions of the film. Goreng begins trying to convert those in the upper and lower levels through debate, negotiation, and even violence. This is all done in a vivid way, but the film still felt as if I was being lectured to rather than entertained. It lost me. The whole movie lost me, mainly because the film began promoting the message more than being interesting. After being sweetened up with the premise, it felt as if all allegory and metaphor had melted away and it simply turned into someone telling me some way to believe. For me, that’s the fastest way to lose my interest and that’s exactly what happened with THE PLATFORM.
I’m thrilled there are those who think the philosophies behind THE PLATFORM are important and relevant. While I don’t agree with all of it, I agree, the world would be a better place if some of the theories explored in this film were followed. I simply feel the delivery system that info was sent in was flawed. THE PLATFORM is a movie and the main reason for it is to function as entertainment. It just didn’t do that for me in the end, but I still feel it’s a film released this year that was worth noting, despite its flaws.
THE 2019-2020 EXTRA!
#6 – THE PLATFORM
#7 – 1BR
#8 – YUMMY
#9 – SWALLOW
#10 – ECHOES OF FEAR
#11 – GAME OF DEATH
#12 – DEADLY GAMES 1990
#13 – GIRL ON THE THIRD FLOOR
#14 – UNCLE PECKERHEAD
#15 – Z
#16 – THE LAST OF THE MANSON GIRLS
#17 – RENT-A-PAL
#18 – WARNING: DO NOT PLAY
#19 – JESUS SHOWS ME THE WAY TO THE HIGHWAY
#20 – THE BABYSITTER 2: KILLER QUEEN
#21 – UNCAGED
#22 – WOUNDS
#23 – VFW
#24 – #ALIVE
#25 – AFTER MIDNIGHT
#26 – MONSTROUS
#27 – AQUASLASH
#28 – SWEETHEART
#29 – RANDOM ACTS OF VIOLENCE
#30 – WE SUMMON THE DARKNESS
#31 – THE SHED
M. L. Miller is a wordslinger/writer of wrongs/reviewer/interviewer/editor of MLMILLERWRITES.COM. Follow @Mark_L_Miller.
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