Can’t stop thinking about Netflix’s new horror flick, “The Perfection”? Neither can we.
Former cello star Charlotte (Alison Williams) flies to Shanghai to meet with her former music instructors Anton (Steven Weber) and Paloma (Alaina Huffman) and encounters their newest protégé, Lizzie (Logan Browning), along the way. Viewers are then taken through a journey revealing the complicated relationship between the characters and are left puzzled, satisfied and mostly disgusted.
Dr. Rebekah McKendry, a professor at the University of Southern California specializing in horror film history, spoke to InsideEdition.com about everything from the bugs and vomit, to the beautiful scenery and the gruesome yet extremely satisfying finale.
“At its core, ‘The Perfection’ is a rape-revenge film and it’s weird because I don’t really think people would be inclined to put it in this category,” McKendry said. “We think of things that are far more visceral [but ‘The Perfection’] feels far more calculating.”
In fact, moving away from typical slasher or jump-scare movies was the goal. McKendry explained the director Richard Shepard took a note from South Korean horror classics, specifically from Park Chan-wook, the director behind movies like "Old Boy" (2003), "The Handmaiden" (2016) and "Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance" (2002).
“They all have this kind of unhinged quality,” McKendry explained. “A lot of South Korean horror films will have these drastic act shifts, where you feel like you’re watching one movie then it feels like something else.”
The influence from international films is clear in the scenes that begin by depicting an intimate love affair between two cellists and end in amputations and bodily fluids, or particularly cringe-worthy scenes juxtaposed with beautiful scenery, McKendry said.
But “The Perfectionist” does employ some universally shocking elements.
“When it comes to vomit, that’s the line that does not get crossed very often so most of us become sympathy vomitters — when we see vomit we immediately have this reaction ourselves where we feel queasy,” she explained. “And then they up the ante even more as soon as there’s a bug quotient involved. Anytime bugs crawl out of the skin in any capacity, people just freak out. It all goes back to that old urban legend of the girl that has the lump on her face and she squeezes it and spiders come out.”
The amputation scenes, McKendry explained, had the same affect.
“It’s absolutely horrifying — the removal of mobility,” she said. “As humans with bodies we look at our movement as freedom and look at senses as freedom. It’s how we experience the world.”
Viewers flooded Twitter soon after the movie was released to express their shared disgust.
McKendry said the outrage and disgust proved to her the film was a hit.
“Whether people love it or hate it, they’re having some sort of strong reaction to it, and that is really what you aim for as a director," she said.