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The Platform

The Platform (2019) -

My desire to watch something like Cube led me to this Spanish Netflix movie. A sci-fi horror that could sort of be described as vertical Snowpiercer, it's set in a prison where the top floors get the first helpings of food while the subsequent floors get the leftovers until the bottom ones are left to play with the plates and cutlery. Our hero is Goreng (Frank Zappa lookalike Iván Massagué), a new inmate who becomes haunted by former cellmates on his path to fighting for the rights for those on the lowest floors.

If you're guessing that the prison, like the train in Snowpiercer, is an obvious (remember that word) metaphor for a first-world country, you'd be right. Goreng's path through it, however, hardly resembles Curtis's (Chris Evans) and it is hardly predictable. It's one that takes him to high floors, low floors, bonding with a rogue mother hunting for her daughter and almost becoming food himself. Making Goreng's path more interesting is the clever editing, which flits back and forth in time to how Goreng first found himself in such a place and offers glimpses to the seemingly five-star restaurant kitchen at the top, all the while thankfully not coming across as incoherent. The performances are also all of high quality, especially Zorion Eguileor as one of Goreng's more cynical and irascible cellmates. Also, for those who don't mind a little blood and guts in movies like this one, you'll get your fill.

As it is with similar high-concept horror, the rules sometimes left me scratching my head at times. Its approach still beats having them explained within an inch of their life in Christopher Nolan movies, especially since I don't believe every rule needs an explanation, but I felt like the guy in the "I have questions" GIF a lot of the time. I still think fans of high-concept and/or one-location sci-fi or horror would enjoy it. It's bound to be especially cathartic if you live in a country that treated COVID in a way that made you feel like a prisoner in your own home as well as rationing table scraps. Oh, and it's probably not an ideal movie to watch if you're hungry or just ate since the mere thought of any shot with food in it makes my stomach turn.