How Scary Is 'The Perfection'? Netflix's Gory Thriller Is Making People Sick With Fear
Allison Williams' latest horror offering following Get Out comes in the form of The Perfection. Released on Netflix on May 24, the film has gained viral attention thanks to its many twists and turns. But if you're worried about how scary The Perfection is, you may be understandably cautious about embarking on this cinematic journey. The plot is unexpected and you certainly don't want it spoiled for you before you go into the movie. But considering the trailer shows bugs, blood, and guts — plus Williams' character Charlotte encouraging Logan Browning's Lizzie to chop off her own hand — you know you're in for a wild, often gross, ride. But despite all that, The Perfection might not be as completely terrifying to watch as Twitter might have you think.
In the film, Williams portrays a former cello prodigy who reaches back out to her old music teacher Anton (Steven Weber) and connects with the new star of the school Lizzie. It's a kind of tense friendship and rivalry that might remind some fans of Black Swan. The classical music rivalry premise might not sound like the stuff of horror movies. But, unlike the 2010 thriller about ballerinas, The Perfection doesn't shy away from gore. In fact, a report from The New York Post noted that people are claiming to get physically sick from the more graphic scenes in The Perfection, particularly one memorable scene involving a truly bonkers bus ride.
Director Richard Shepard talked to Bloody Disgusting about how the bus scene full of vomit and maggots was the catalyst for this "twisted" movie set in the music world. But The Perfection isn't all about the gore. In an interview with /Film, Shepard said, "At the same time, this isn't a slasher movie. There are violence and gore in it, but there's far more violence and gore in other movies. And it's about something, so there's more than just one idea going on."
Shepard told /Film that The Perfection "is mixing so many genres, it's horror, it's suspense, it's comedy horror, it's romance, there are so many different things." Sure, the director — who worked with Williams on Girls — did say "horror" twice in his description, but maybe knowing there are other genres tossed in will help you be less haunted by the movie. After all, Williams did call The Perfection a "female-driven revenge comedy" in a promo for Netflix. So it can't be all that scary, right?
That said, don't let Williams' assessment make you think The Perfection will be some sort of feel-good romp. After all, she also told Popsugar, "It was the most insane script I've read in a long time. It was the craziest script I'd read since Get Out." So maybe how scary you thought Get Out was will help you gauge if you're ready for The Perfection. Because while Jordan Peele's breakout film is very different from Shepard's latest project, Williams was drawn to both of these horror movies for a reason.
In his interview with /Film, Shepard also noted that he instructed the cast and crew to watch the action thriller Oldboy and the psychological thriller The Handmaiden. So those two South Korean films, which Shepard said "are also full of twists and turns and have sex and violence and all sorts of stuff but they're done in an artful, beautiful, controlled way," can also act as a guideline for just how scary The Perfection is.
But again — just because The Perfection leans into its artistry, doesn't mean it won't give you some frights or leave you with plenty of terrifying images to haunt your nightmares. "We can be something that is actually really beautiful, but at the same time, completely wacked out and insane. And that's kind of what we were trying to do. We were like, 'Holy sh*t, let's see how far we can push it. Let's do it,'" Shepard told /Film. And since The Perfection is a see-it-to-believe-it type of film, you'll just have to experience the psychological scares yourself.