The Perfection – USA, 2018

‘It’s time to face the music’

The Perfection is a 2018 American horror feature film directed by Richard Shepard (Salem TV series) from a screenplay co-written with Eric C. Charmelo and Nicole Snyder. The Capstone Film Group production stars Allison Williams, Logan Browning and Steven Weber.


When troubled musical prodigy Charlotte (Allison Williams) seeks out Elizabeth (Logan Browning), the new star pupil of her former school, the encounter sends both musicians down a sinister path with shocking consequences…


“Multiple perspective shifts suggest we shouldn’t trust the movie, but there’s a big difference between a film being unreliable and losing the plot altogether. The Perfection wants to be an indulgent, overripe revenge fantasy, but a rotten core makes it impossible to enjoy.” Russ Fischer, Birth. Movies. Death.

The Perfection consistently shocks and surprises and takes so many twists and turns you don’t expect that you’re bound to get whiplash. It is a fabulously twisted film that can’t easily fit into one genre. It’s all at once a horror film, a comedy, a revenge thriller, a character study, a trashy grindhouse flick and so much more.” Trace Thurman, Bloody Disgusting

“The movie starts to head into one direction, but then, as it goes on, it begins to shift into something else– something gnarlier, something more outre. And it’s still not done. As it goes on, it reverses, and shifts, and mutates from there, and you never quite know what to expect next. It’s a three card monte film, only it’s impossible to keep your eyes on the card.” Johnny Donaldson, Daily Grindhouse

The Perfection gets downright vicious at times, bearing some resemblance to tightly-wound thrillers like The Handmaiden. It slowly pulls you in and gets you comfortable, plays with character perspectives to throw you off its scent, and explodes with brutality to enter a whole new realm of WTF. Every moment you think the story is going to zig, it zags.” Preston Barta, Denton Record-Chronicle

” …a phenomenal piece of entertainment. It bares its roots that look like De Palma’s best manifestations of tension, brutality that is gnarly and in full view, exposing — and no, I’m not exaggerating — the kind of bloodlust you’d see in horror films from South Korea or Norway […] It’s a hell of a ride.” Neil Miller, Film School Rejects

“This film is an absolute blast. It’s an empowering message marred in horror, tragedy and overall WTF gasps. It’s surely one of the most riveting films of the year and will be burned into your brain long after its ghastly crescendo.” James Cole Clay, Fresh Fiction

” …the story is all about misdirection. He [Richard Shepard] is somewhat able to explore different genres in tandem with the main plot. The result of which keeps the audience guessing and thoroughly shocked. And it works brilliantly.” Marc Ciafardini, Go See Talk

It’s gloriously campy and very clearly doesn’t take itself too seriously (I mean, how can you when you cast Steven Weber?). It’s really hard to talk about anything else without giving it all away — so I’ll just say while it’s easy to see where the story is going, it’s impossible to anticipate how it gets there. I f*cking loved it, and I think this one is destined to become a cult classic.” Amie Simon, I Love Splatter!

“Because the film doubles back on itself so much, it’s hard to pin down a theme or mood to follow. I’m all for films to be unpredictable, but one moment we’re in Eli Roth’s Hostel (2005), and the next we’re in Lucky McKee’s May, 2002. First we’re surrounded by opulence and operas, the next bile and bus trips. Still unsure of where we’re headed, and who we’re with.” Kimberley Elizabeth, Nightmare on Film Street

Title cards lead us through the chapters in the film, but the actual mechanics of these markers go far beyond merely signposts. The Perfection’s playfulness and body horror anchor an uncommon film into some incredibly entertaining waters. A strong stomach and good humor will be rewarded kindly by this one.” Deirdre Crimmins, Rue Morgue

De Palma style diopter shots are sprinkled throughout the film as well as elements of gore and violence reminiscent of Korean horror films. Shepard’s feature violently plucks at your heartstrings and cements itself as a relevant, albeit brutal allegory for conversation topics revolving around trauma. While the story is convoluted at times and morphs in ways that come off as a movie-within-a-movie, it still delivers in an exciting and disoriented fashion.” Marisa Mirabel, Slash Film


The Perfection will be released globally on Netflix on May 24, 2019.

Cast and characters:

  • Allison Williams … Charlotte – Get Out
  • Alaina Huffman … Paloma – Deep Focus; Supernatural TV series; Pendulum
  • Steven Weber … Anton – iZombie TV series; Channel Zero: The Dream Door; Sleepy Hollow TV series; Crawlspace 2013; Masters of Horror TV series; Dracula: Dead and Loving It
  • Logan Browning … Lizzie
  • Evelyn Chew … Mother on Bus
  • Glynis Davies … Aunt
  • Winnie Hung … Mingzhu
  • Graeme Duffy … Geoffrey
  • Christina Jastrzembska … Aunt
  • Stephen Chang … Elderly Man
  • Doralynn Mui … Guest at Party #3
  • Milah Thompson … Young Lizzie
  • Molly Grace … Young Charlotte
  • Vince Tsang … Man at Party
  • Leanne Wang … Young Lady on Bus

Filming locations:

Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada


Brian De Palma films

More horror on Netflix

South Korean horror

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