Panna Cotta Consternation: Dr. Lauren & Darren review “The Platform” (2019)

Dr. Lauren McIntyre (left) is a horror obsessive, tattoo connoisseur, natural Goth and cat wrangler. Lauren’s mum is playing fast and loose with the definition of the phrase ‘essential groceries’ during this current pandemic. Say hi to her – that’s Lauren, not her mum – on Twitter: @noddinggoth

Darren Gaskell (right) is a horror obsessive and “enthusiastic” karaoke performer. Don’t ask Darren about sweetcorn, he thinks it’s evil. Say hi to him on Twitter: @darren_gaskell

Huge thanks to Melanie Gourlay for the photo. Hi Mel!

*** This review contains huge spoilers about the film so if you haven’t seen The Platform yet we advise that you should watch it first before reading on. There are also some sweary bits if you’re a bit sensitive about the f-word. We’d also like to warn you that we discuss the film’s most upsetting content so if you want to close the page now that’s fine. Thank you, stay safe! Dr. L & D xxx ***

THE PLATFORM (2019)

Starring: Ivan Massagué, Zorion Eguileor, Antonia San Juan

Writers: David Desola, Pedro Rivero (from a story by David Desola)

Director: Galder Gaztelu-Urrutia

Darren: So, we have Galder Gaztela-Urrutia’s The Platform which is a relatively recent arrival on Netflix and seems to be doing very well in terms of the Top Ten on there.

[Note: It took Darren three goes to pronounce Galder Gaztela-Urrutia correctly, that wasn’t a good start]

Dr. Lauren: Yes. What did you think?

Darren: I’m sure we’re about to get into this but I was pretty impressed, I have to say. Grim, but it’s a really good movie.

Dr. Lauren: For context. I watched this a few days ago independently of you and you watched it as part of the Celluloid Screams watch party, is that right?

Darren: That’s right, I did.

[Huge thanks to Rob, Lucy and Polly for organising the Celluloid Screams Watch Party. One day, five films. Follow Celluloid Screams on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram for more details about their brilliant festival and all of the other stuff they’re planning]

Darren: It was the one film in the watchlist that I hadn’t seen so I thought “Good chance to give this one a go”. So we watched it at different times. It’s about a guy who voluntarily agrees to go into this strange vertical prison because at the end of his six months in there he’ll get an advanced diploma as a result.

Dr. Lauren: I liked that as a premise. Interesting and there’s very little information to go on. You’re straight in there.

Darren: It didn’t hang about. The first thing you see, he’s already in the cell and the set-up’s established fairly quickly about the platform. They’ve changed the title as well. The original Spanish title was “El Hoyo”, which is “The Hole”.

Dr. Lauren: Ah! I did not know that.

Darren: They do keep referring to the hole during the film. The Platform’s a good title, I’m guessing they may have changed it to avoid UK people sniggering at “The Hole”.

Dr. Lauren: Maybe. There’s also a couple of other things called “The Hole”, if it’s called “The Platform” then it’s distinguishing itself a bit more.

Darren: Also I can go about “The Hole” again. You know, the Keira Knightley/Thora Birch movie with the really shit ending? Not to be confused with that, where the police turn up at the end and Thora Birch is explaining what’s happened to them and….I’d better not do this again, I did that enough after In The Quarry.

Dr. Lauren: Let’s not start ranting about that one.

Darren: Let’s not talk about that particular hole, let’s talk about this particular hole.

Dr. Lauren: I really liked The Platform. I thought it was great.

Darren: So we meet this guy, he’s on Level 48. We don’t know how many levels there are.

Dr. Lauren: And crucially we’re told this a good level.

Darren: Yes. The premise is that there’s a platform that goes down to each level and stays there for a couple of minutes. While the platform’s there you get the chance to eat the food that’s on there. When they’re on Level 48, the food’s been picked over quite a bit but there’s still some of it left.

Dr. Lauren: It is quite a fancy banquet when it starts, by the time it gets down there you’ve got empty cake stands and smashed-up cloches. And lots of fairly grim-looking food. Did you eat before this film or during?

Darren: I’d eaten just before. I would recommend that people shouldn’t eat during this movie.

Dr. Lauren: I made a similar recommendation to people in the watch party who were about to see it.

Darren: There’s some fairly disgusting stuff going on in this. One of the other things about the prison is that after a month, you get knocked out and you wake up on a completely different level.

Dr. Lauren: The way this is explained in the film is interesting as you’re in a very similar situation to the main character. He wakes up in this room and there’s a guy at the other side of the room. The viewer finds out what’s going on by the main guy asking his cellmate questions. It’s better than just having someone who’s a blatant exposition machine.

Darren: Handily, he’s paired with someone who’s in there for…what was it, twelve months?

Dr. Lauren: Twelve months.

Darren: And he’s already been in there for x number of months so he knows what the set-up is and how things work. You’re right, it’s a useful way of getting you into the plot without someone standing there and saying “By the way, this is how it all works”.

Dr. Lauren: And you’re allowed to take one item in with you. The main character has chosen to take in a copy of Don Quixote.

Darren: He’s a bit of an idealist so he takes Don Quixote in and then he finds out the other bloke has got this incredibly sharp knife on him.

Dr. Lauren: As we find out later in the film, a copy of Don Quixote is not the most ridiculous thing someone’s taken in with them.

Darren: Absolutely not. There are some more bizarre choices. So the main guy’s got a book and his cellmate’s got a knife. Which will come in useful later on.

Dr. Lauren: What would you take in?

Darren: That’s kind of a weird one because initially I was thinking I’d take a really good book but I’d also be thinking the lower you get, the worse it’s going to be so I was starting to err on the side of baseball bats, knives, guns, things like that.

Dr. Lauren: Depends how much you know about the place before you go in. I think there are people in there who don’t really understand the full situation.

Darren: The main guy obviously doesn’t. There are a couple of flashbacks where you see him filling him a questionnaire with someone who’s part of the establishment of the place and it’s not really clear to him what’s going to happen, he’s just answering a load of questions. It’s never made clear whether it’s all being made purposely obscure to him or if he hasn’t asked the right questions.

Dr. Lauren: I quite liked that. As you go further into the film you find out that people are in there for a variety of different reasons. He’s volunteered to go in because he’s going to get this mysterious diploma at the end of it. His cellmate is there as a punishment. There’s another character later on who has actually worked for the organisation that set the place up and even she doesn’t understand what’s going on. Much to her detriment.

Darren: Yeah, that doesn’t work all awfully well for her. It’s revealed that the item she’s brought in is a dog. As soon as I saw that, I thought “Oh God, this really isn’t going to end well”. And it doesn’t.

Dr. Lauren: I thought exactly the same thing. So, your man, main guy…

Darren: Goreng.

Dr. Lauren: Yeah. He starts off on Level 48, does quite well for the first month. Gets on quite well with his cellmate even though his cellmate is blatantly a bit tapped.

Darren: He’s crackers.

Dr. Lauren: They’re a bit hungry but they’ve got enough food coming in so that’s fine. Month one finishes and the next level they wake up on is…what is it, 132?

Darren: I’ve got this written down. It was 171. I made a note of the floor moves as it was going along. 171 is really not very good at all.

Dr. Lauren: I know where I’ve got 132 from. Goreng asked his cellmate how deep he thought the hole was and he said he didn’t know but he had been on 132.

Darren: That’s right. So they’re on 171 and, predictably, by the time the food platform gets down to them there’s absolutely nothing left.

Dr. Lauren: There’s fuck all, unless you want to eat broken glass.

Darren: So there’s the question of what do you eat if there’s two of you in captivity and no food. Obvious answer, because it’s a horror movie, is “each other”.

Dr. Lauren: It rapidly takes an even darker turn.

Darren: it was fairly grim up to this point but our hero wakes up and he’s bound to the bed. His previously unhinged cellmate has gone full-on bonkers now…

Dr. Lauren: Feral.

Darren: ….and is planning to eat bits of him over the course of the month.

Dr. Lauren: I don’t think this is entirely unexpected. Previously, when he was asked about being on Level 132 he was asked if he killed and ate his cellmate. He said he didn’t but they had eaten a corpse that had fallen down from another level. Knowing that would have at least put me on edge.

Darren: You’re thinking the movie’s only 30 minutes old and who you think is the main guy is tied up and about to be eaten so you’re wondering where it’s going to go.

Dr. Lauren: He does get an eight-day reprieve while his bowels clear out.

Darren: Yes, there’s this thing about how if you purge snails before you eat them they’re much more tasty.

Dr. Lauren: A lot of animals do that in the wild when they’re hunting. One of the reasons cats play with mice when they’ve caught them is to purge them before they eat them. Similar thing.

Darren: There you go.

Dr. Lauren: That’s me bringing the knowledge bomb right there.

Darren: Good job you’re here. I just watch films. I’m a complete dumbarse when it comes to that sort of thing.

Dr. Lauren: I don’t think that’s true.

Darren: Anyway, you don’t get the situation where the guy you’ve been following is cut up and eaten 30 minutes into the movie. Something else happens and he manages to escape.

Dr. Lauren: Luckily for him, his cellmate ends up dead as well. Yay! Buffet lunch!

Darren: At this point you’re treated to some pretty disgusting cannibalism [as opposed to non-disgusting cannibalism, Darren, whatever that might be].

Dr. Lauren: You’re a cannibal film connoisseur so where does it rank in the scheme of things?

Darren: This is true. Things like Cannibal Ferox and Last Cannibal World, they are gory but when they’re doing things like scooping guts out and flinging intestines around it becomes so over the top that it somehow doesn’t end up being quite as offensive as you’d expected. With this, you have some very specific cutting off of little bits of flesh. It’s more revolting.

Dr. Lauren: It is revolting. This film really pushed a lot of my buttons. But in a good way.

Darren: It’s not done in a gratuitous way but it’s very disturbing. Because the injuries are more relatable, the tiny cuts are even more worse than seeing some cannibal yanking out someone’s intestinal tract.

Dr. Lauren: I’m feeling grim just thinking about it. I have a thing about people putting horrible things in their mouths. It’s making me feel gross just talking about it. Eating food off a table where people have already eaten stuff, spitting on it as it’s going down to the next level….it’s hideous. I definitely felt a bit of a dry retch happening.

Darren: I’ve got a thing about people having things in their mouth and then passing them on for other people to eat.

Dr. Lauren: Ewww no.

Darren: That’s a no-no for me. If someone was chewing something and then passed it on to me to eat I’d be like “No, absolutely not”.

[Short pause for Dr. Lauren and Darren to settle their stomachs]

Darren: This movie is heavy on the allegory. If you’re a fan of allegory then this is your movie. It’s literally the “haves” at the top and the “have nots” at the very bottom. And the “haves” behave really badly towards the people below them.

Dr. Lauren: There is literal and figurative shitting on the people below you.

Darren: There is. If you’re going on about how people at the top of society shit on those below them, there is a point where someone actually does get shit on. Again, that’s completely revolting. I knew something was going to happen there, I didn’t realise they were going to do that. When the guy was trying to climb up to the next level I thought they were going to push him back down as he got up there.

Dr. Lauren: So after our hero survives Level 171, does he go to 6?

Darren: He goes to 33 first where he meets Imoguiri, the woman who’s got the dog. She used to work for the facility and she’s gone in trying to effect some sort of social change.

Dr. Lauren: She’s brought her beloved pet sausage dog with her which is immediately a mistake.

Darren: That’s another thing. It’s pretty obvious that the dog isn’t going to last very long. This is the only problem I have with the movie and it’s a bugbear of mine where pets are killed off for effect. It’s kind of part of the story and it shows what people do in desperate situations but as soon as someone’s pet turns up in a horror film you think “It’s gonna die” and I just don’t like it.

Dr. Lauren: I have more of a problem with animals dying in films than people. Anything where an animal is threatened or in danger or about to get bumped off – I have a bad time with it.

Darren: Same here. You can kill as many human beings as you want in a movie as far as I’m concerned, in the most disgusting and graphic ways possible. As soon as I see a cat my reaction is “If you fucking touch that cat, there’s going to be trouble”.

Dr, Lauren: Yeah, we’ve just got Disney+ and I’ve been going through some of the Pixar short films and I could not stop crying at Kitbull which is about animal cruelty.

Darren: I didn’t realise Disney+ was quite so transgressive in its output.

[Dr. Lauren cracks up]

Dr. Lauren: It has a happy ending but it’s a fair old emotional journey to get there.

Darren: I don’t have Disney+ so I can steer clear of that one.

Dr. Lauren: It’s about a little kitten that becomes friends with a pitbull that’s chained up outside someone’s house.

Darren: You’ve flagged that up now. I’m not gonna…

Dr. Lauren: If animals being treated badly pushes your buttons then really don’t watch it. I went through the mill for what, seven minutes, however long it was.

Darren: I’ll probably just watch some really gory slasher film again instead.

Dr. Lauren: Sorry about that.

Darren: No, no, that was quite a fun digression. So Goreng’s on 33 and going on about how it’s a prison but Imoguiri refers to it as a “Vertical Self-Management Centre”.

Dr. Lauren: Can I just ask? Do you ever find out why she’s in there?

Darren: Well, she’s worked for the administration. She’s found out that she’s got some kind of incurable cancer and she’s gone in with a view to finding exactly what’s going on in there and then tries to effect some kind of radical social change.

Dr. Lauren: When the platform turns up she’s frantically trying to portion things out.

Darren: Yeah, so she’s trying to make things better in a really idealistic way and she’s shouting down to the next level for them to make two portions as well and then they tell the next level, and the next level, and so on and if that works then everyone is going to have enough food.

Dr. Lauren: She gives the information that there are 200 levels in the hole and theoretically the amount of food and the calorific value of that value of that should be enough to feed all the people on every level. So the people at the top are eating too much and by the time it gets down to the bottom there’s not enough left for the people down there.

Darren: Again, heavy on the allegory. It’s pretty much said in the dialogue that if everyone just ate what they needed, everyone would get fed but it’s the people at the top who are taking too much.

Dr. Lauren: Damn you, capitalism!

Darren: Pesky billionaires.

Dr. Lauren: Fuck those guys.

Darren: You might think it’s going to be fairly heavy-handed in terms of the allegorical content but it’s not battering you over the head with it,

Dr. Lauren: I thought it did a good job.

Darren: The message is fairly obvious but you don’t get people every two minutes giving you a political lecture about it.

Dr. Lauren: No, and for the first thirty minutes I hadn’t really thought about that at all. It’s so well written and so well acted that I was so engrossed with the characters and how they came to be there. I hadn’t really considered that side of it because I was so in there.

Darren: It’s more to do with Goreng’s situation in the first act and it’s only when he becomes more aware of how everything works – or doesn’t work – that it gains more momentum in terms of the platform itself and the different levels of society. The folk at the top get the access to all the really good stuff, those at the bottom get nothing.

Dr. Lauren: Nothing.

Darren: So before he leaves 33….you don’t see the dog die but you do see what’s left of it, which isn’t a lot.

Dr. Lauren: Yeah, that really upset me.

Darren: I knew it was coming and I thought they might just give you a brief glimpse but…

Dr. Lauren; There’s a skirmish and it’s a casualty of the skirmish.

Darren: It has no chance of returning as you see most of its insides underneath one of the bunks.

Dr. Lauren: I thought its owner was horrible because she took it in there for selfish reasons. She was going to miss it. And she was going to share her rations with the dog but she was expecting it to only eat every other day. And it was human food on there as well, there’s fucking cake and salad and shit.

Darren: There is a point where one of the other inmates is injured and they’re trying to take care of her and while this is going on the dog is on the platform eating the food.

Dr. Lauren: Which it would be.

Darren: Quite natural. That’s another thing that made me retch because the dog’s eating the food which then goes down to the next level and those people are going to be eating the food the dog’s just had a go at. On many levels, this movie upset my stomach.

Dr. Lauren: Yeah. It’s gross.

Darren: So, after Level 33, he does get to 6. He has a new cellmate called Baharat.

Dr. Lauren: A pious guy…

Darren: He thinks that God is going to save them but he’s got a baseball bat as well so if religion won’t work then a good crack across the face with a bat will. It’s at this point that the political element ramps up as they work out a way to send a message to the people at the top while trying to get everyone fed as well.

Dr. Lauren: Baharat wants to climb to the top to give the administration what for and he tries to get to Level 5 and this is when the people on Level 5 do not take kindly to that and Baharat ends with a load of shite on his face.

Darren: Again, another allegorical thing about trying to climb to the top. There’s a point at which someone says “If you’re trying to climb up there’s always some bastard who won’t let you past”. And that’s literally what happens at Level 5 so having not been able to climb up they come up with a scheme where they…

Dr. Lauren: …go down to go back up again.

Darren: Yes. They commandeer the platform.

Dr. Lauren: Their idea is that they’re going to enforce portion size for all the levels to ensure everybody on all the levels gets something to eat, which is good. They arbitrarily make the decision that they’re not going to give any food to the people on the first 50 levels as they’ve been eating okay for the last few days.

Darren: Which leads to them having to fight a few people off on the way down.

Dr. Lauren: And they need to be on there because once the platform gets down to the bottom of the hole it whizzes back up to the top to be cleaned for the next day and it goes too fast for you to jump back on to on the way up.

Darren: As well as feeding all the people on the way down, their ultimate aim is to send a message back to the administration at the top by leaving some luxury food item uneaten which turns out to be a panna cotta.

Dr. Lauren: I howled laughing at that. I don’t know if you know this but I have a bad history with panna cotta.

Darren: Personally, I love panna cotta.

Dr. Lauren: I hate panna cotta so much. It makes me angry.

[Darren bursts out laughing]

Dr. Lauren: It’s not a fucking dessert!

[Darren is laughing quite hard by now]

Dr. Lauren: It’s so shit! It’s not dessert. It’s cream that somebody’s warmed up with some gelatin and tried to pass off as a dessert. It’s not a fucking cake, is it?

Darren: How dare you! That’s one of my favourite desserts!

Dr. Lauren: No. it’s a cheat. One of my friends didn’t have panna cotta on her wedding menu because she knew it would make me cross.

Darren: I feel personally attacked now.

Dr. Lauren: Shout out to Laura for changing her wedding menu, though.

Darren: My old team leader was Italian and whenever we used to go on site we’d have panna cotta. He would be the arbiter of whether or not it was good panna cotta because he was Italian and he knew.

Dr. Lauren: I think that’s fair but it’s not for me. We do not serve panna cotta in this house.

Darren: Fair enough. Your house, your rules. I’ll bring my own if I come over.

Dr. Lauren: You’re not allowed through the door with that.

Darren: So you’re some sort of panna cotta Nazi then?

Dr. Lauren: I just hate it.

Darren: So you’d have been all right then with the panna cotta being uneaten then?

Dr. Lauren: I wouldn’t have touched it with a fucking bargepole.

Darren: So they’ve got this panna cotta and they’re defending it because that’s the message.

Dr. Lauren: They want to leave the panna cotta under a little glass cloche so it’s the one thing left on the table when the platform gets back up to the top to send a message to the administration to tell them to get fucked.

Darren: Doesn’t quite go to plan.

Dr. Lauren: No!

Darren: There’s a lot of gory fighting on the way down.

Dr. Lauren: The people on the top, who’ve been eating relatively well for the last few days, don’t take very kindly to being told they can’t have anything and there’s a rather violent montage of people’s heads being smacked by baseball bats as they’re trying to grab cake.

Darren: People have got swords, there’s folk getting their faces smashed in…

Dr. Lauren: It’s not pleasant at all.

Darren: It’s at this point we find out that Goreng’s estimate of the number of levels is severely off.

Dr. Lauren: It’s way off. He thinks there’s around 200, right?

Darren: He thinks there’s just over 200. They eventually get down to Level 333. By the time these guys get down there and they’ve been fighting people off, both of them are, to put it bluntly, absolutely fucked.

Dr. Lauren: There is a quite a nice run where there were people who were obviously hungry and they were dishing food out to everybody. After the horrific violence of the first 50 floors they were giving food out to grateful people which was nice. And then there were floors that had no one on them at all because they were all dead.

Darren: The platform doesn’t stop on floors where there’s no one alive so you do get to see them pass by various gruesome scenes.

Dr. Lauren: There was somebody cut in half!

Darren: Yes, there was! I was just about to say that. They pass one of the floors and there’s just the bottom half of someone there. So, they get down to the bottom and their idea of sending the panna cotta back up takes a bit of a weird turn.

Dr. Lauren: Because they find a child.

Darren: Yep.

Dr. Lauren: Who we’ve not previously mentioned!

Darren: There is an inmate who jumps between various floors because she believes her child is in there. About an hour in we’re told that she’s just mad and there’s no child.

Dr. Lauren: And children aren’t allowed in there either.

Darren: So she couldn’t have her child in there but when those guys get down to Level 333, the child is actually there. Looking in pretty reasonable shape to be perfectly honest.

Dr. Lauren: Yeah, I thought that too. She’s hiding under a bed but she’s looking in not bad nick.

Darren: I don’t think that’s a fault of the plot. You make your own mind up about how she’s come to be there. Because of the way things work, maybe she wasn’t on 333 all the time.

Dr. Lauren: Maybe she went down there voluntarily.

Darren: So they see this girl and the only thing left is the panna cotta. Now, if it had been you down there, you wouldn’t have eaten it, obviously.

Dr. Lauren: Maybe in that particular situation I might have considered it.

Darren: So, panna cotta but only on point of death.

Dr. Lauren: I mean, I wouldn’t be happy about it.

[Darren stops for a few seconds until he can speak through his laughing]

Darren: They think better of their mission and they give the kid the panna cotta. But then they realise that the message could be something else.

Dr. Lauren: THE MESSAGE IS THE CHILD!

Darren: The next thing is to send the child back up, not the food.

Dr. Lauren: They go right down to the bottom, don’t they?

Darren: They do.

Dr. Lauren: There’s a level underneath 333.

Darren: There is. It’s kind of a basement level where the platform stops for a while before it shoots back up.

Dr. Lauren: And your man Baharat carks it, doesn’t he?

Darren: He does. He succumbs to the injuries he sustained in the fight because he had a bloody great sword slash across his abdomen.

Dr. Lauren: Aw, that was awful! Whoever did the make-up on this did a really good job. His waist injury was horrific.

Darren: Across the board, all of the effects are really, really good.

Dr. Lauren: Yeah! Top notch.

Darren: All the injuries look hideous and realistic. Even the blood. You see movies and the blood’s too red, it’s weirdly glossy. All the blood in this is dark and gloopy. The effects are absolutely brilliant.

Dr. Lauren: Brilliant.

Darren: Baharat shuffles off, leaving Goreng and the kid. Goreng then gets visited by the spirit of his first cellmate – through the movie he’s visited by the spirits of those who’ve died in his presence or…does he kill the old guy? He does, doesn’t he? He stabs him repeatedly!

Dr. Lauren: Yes!

Darren: I thought the woman with the child kills me but no, she just injures him and it’s Goreng who jumps on him and stabs about twenty times. So he’s getting things explained to him by the old bloke, there’s a passage from Don Quixote that’s referred to and then Goreng realises he isn’t going back up either.

Dr. Lauren: No, he puts the kid on the platform and the last thing we see is the platform whizzing back up.

Darren: That’s it. Fade to black. Credits. It leaves you to ask questions or fill in the blanks about what comes next. which is good.

Dr. Lauren: Which I liked about it too. One of the things I liked the most about it is that you never found out exactly what was going on. There wasn’t all of this over-explanation that you get in a lot of mainstream films. And some indie films as well, to be honest. I like to be able to make my own mind up.

Darren: Definitely. I’d totally agree with that. It gave you just enough to work with but left you quite a lot of space for you to draw your own conclusions about why it was there in the first place, how it worked…

Dr. Lauren: Yeah, I’d be interested to see if they make a sequel. It’s doing quite well on Netflix and it’s only just gone up there. I’m in two minds about it. A sequel could be interesting but it depends on how well done it’s going to be. Also it would be quite nice to just leave it there.

Darren: Yeah, I’m happy with how it finished. It’s left hanging but it’s not left hanging in a frustrating way.

Dr. Lauren: It could totally be left as is.

Darren: You can make your own mind up about what happens next. Cynics like me would think the kid gets to the top and nothing changes. Other people might think that they realise what’s happening and close the place down. The great thing about The Platform is that there’s room to attach any ending you want to it.

Dr. Lauren: I thought it was excellent. I was very pleasantly surprised. I didn’t know anything about it going in.

Darren: Same here. I spotted it was on Netflix, I realised it was going to be part of the Celluloid watch party so I held off until then. Yes, it was a really pleasant – well, unpleasant – surprise in many ways. It’s definitely not for the squeamish. I don’t know that the casual horror fan would be particularly blown away by it because it’s so grim. Anyone who watches horror movies regularly, like us, who might be a bit more hardened to this kind of material, is going to really enjoy it.

Dr. Lauren: On the scale of grimness, I’d say it’s bad but it’s not as bad as stuff like The Divide or The Golden Glove.

Darren: That’s true.

Dr, Lauren: There’s almost a complete absence of sexual violence. There’s a little bit but not loads.

Darren: It does steer away from that. You’re right about The Divide. Now you mention that. it’s probably one of the most depressing trips to the cinema ever. I was full of despair when I came out of The Divide.

Dr. Lauren: The three films that are my bar for grimness that I couldn’t go past are The Divide, Eden Lake and Snowtown.

Darren: Oh God. Snowtown.

Dr. Lauren: That’s my line in the sand. And it’s not past those by any means.

Darren: It’s not quite so grim that you’re going to be put off. It walks a fine line in some places.

Dr. Lauren: I didn’t want to eat it while I was watching it.

Darren: No. It’s gory but, having said that, it’s never gratuitous.

Dr. Lauren: That’s true. It’s pretty full-on but it’s all part of the plot. It’s never unnecessary.

Darren: It’s not just blood and guts for the sake of it, there’s always some motivation behind it. And it’s quite cleverly done in the way that you see just enough for it to be horrible without wallowing in it. The cannibalism bits are gross but the thought of it is more horrible than what you actually see quite a lot of the time. I loved this film. It was great.

Dr. Lauren: So what would you give it in terms of a score then?

Darren: I’m thinking four and a half out of five.

Dr. Lauren: Yeah! Me too! I was thinking that as well.

Darren: It’s got to be something truly special to get a five but this is right up there.

Dr. Lauren: There’s very little that I can criticise this movie for, so for that reason I’d say four and a half. I thought it was excellent.

THE SCORES

Dr. Lauren: 4.5 / 5

Darren: 4.5 / 5

About celluloiddeej

Film fan, horror festival goer, karaoke enthusiast, cat whisperer, world traveller, complete idiot. Invite me on your podcast if you can stand the Yorkshire accent.

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