‘The Platform’ is a horror film to make you think

A scene from the horror film, “The Platform,” where inmates face horrific circumstances to survive. (photo by Netflix)

A jail with no bars. A prison with no guards. A form of hell that is ready to devour you. “The Platform” is a film that unlocks a whole new world of torture. This 94-minute long movie, originally filmed and recorded in Spain, was dubbed and released to Netflix March 20, 2020. The movie is a total psychological rollercoaster from start to finish, so let’s jump right into this movie review.

After watching a supervisor inspect a number of chefs preparing various meals set to the sound of a beautifully disturbing violin, we are introduced to our main character: a middle-aged Hispanic man named Goreng (as portrayed by Iván Massagué). He awakens in a square cell with a rectangular hole in the middle and a cellmate – a short, plump, older man by the name of Trimagasi. Trimagasi (played by Zorion Eguileor) introduces himself using his favorite word: “obviously.” After a fairly straightforward sequence of questions and answers, Goreng finds out the basics of “The Pit,” as Trimagasi refers to it.

Each cell has two people, a sink, mirror and toilet, as well as the hole in the middle. Each person in the cell gets to choose an item to bring with them. The hole in the middle of the cell allows a platform filled with food to be lowered down The Pit. Each room gets two minutes with the food before it goes to the next cell. If you keep a piece of food when the platform leaves, your room gets extremely hot or cold and it will kill you if you don’t return the food to the platform. Each month, they are put to sleep with gas and moved to a random level. Goreng is initially appalled by the idea of eating 94 other people’s leftovers, but he eventually budges and starts to eat after a few days.

Through some quality cell-bonding between Goreng and Trimagasi, they both find out why the other is in The Pit. Trimagasi accidentally killed an illegal immigrant by throwing a knife sharpener out of his window. He was given the option of either a mental asylum or The Pit. Obviously, he chose The Pit. His sentence was 14 months, and then we would be released from The Pit and go back to his normal life. To me, this seems like quite a silly way for a person to be put in The Pit, but it definitely adds to the absurd psychopathy of his character. When he learns why Goreng is in the pit, he becomes quite confused. Goreng isn’t a murderer; in fact, he isn’t a criminal at all. Goreng voluntarily agreed to go into The Pit for 6 months in order to receive an accredited degree. Trimagasi was shocked because he had already been in The Pit for 12 months but he wasn’t getting any degrees, once again adding more character development to imply that he isn’t all there upstairs. After some corresponding events and the first kill of the movie, Goreng realizes that this place isn’t a playground.

At the end of the month, they are put to sleep with the gas and moved to their next cell. Goreng wakes up in an unfavorable position. He is tied down completely to his bed with his sheets. He can only scream for a second before Trimagasi starts telling him the bad news: they awoke on level 171, the lowest that Trimagasi has ever been on. He explains to him that he won’t kill him if he doesn’t have to, but if there’s no food then Trimagasi will have to start eating Goreng. “Obviously.” As forementioned, each cell mate gets to bring one item. Goreng brought a book so he could pass the time. Trimagasi, however, was thinking a little differently. He got in trouble because of a knife sharpener, so what does he bring? A self-sharpening knife, “obviously.” Goreng is trapped with nowhere to go and the only person who can save him is a crazy old man with a knife, and it’s not looking good for our protagonist. Fortunately for Goreng, a woman that rides the platform down each month saves him from Trimagasi and releases him from the bed sheets. After a pair of scenes involving cannabalism and sex that are as disturbing as they are sudden, the month ends and Goreng moves on to his next level.

I absolutely loved this movie from start to finish. The idea of the show is extremely creative and the execution was flawless. Although I thought some parts were fairly predictable (such as them ending up on the lower level in the second month), I definitely couldn’t predict anything after he got his new cellmate. The ending was spectacular and still has me thinking about it two years and several watches later. I won’t spoil this incredible film, but I do highly suggest you all to go and watch this incredible production as your October comes to an end.

Edited by Justin Shepard