A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that The Perfection, a female-driven horror movie, pushes the envelope of gore and brutality. Viewers can expect many scenes of frenzied violence with all manner of weapons. These scenes result in staples of the horror genre -- blood-soaked clashes, horribly-wounded victims, and grisly deaths. Sexual situations are integral to the plot: a scene in which two women engage in sex with partial nudity, and references and flashbacks to child rape, along with soft-focus shots of full-frontal male nudity. Profanity is frequent (i.e., "f--k," "s--t," "ass," "c--t," son of a bitch), as well as on-camera vomiting and defecation. Alcohol is consumed; some drunkenness. Ibuprofen and prescription drugs are ingested, often with harrowing outcomes. Hallucinogenic drugs are administered. Carefully photographed to elicit maximum shock and revulsion, the twisting, often surprising, story isn't for kids.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
As a teen, Charlotte Willmore (Allison Williams) had to leave a promising career as a cellist in THE PERFECTION. Her mother's stroke ended her residency at the prestigious Bachoff Academy. After more than a decade of being cared for her by her devoted daughter, Charlotte's mother dies. Tentatively, Charlotte makes her way back to Bachoff. Though Anton (Steven Weber), the head of the academy, is overjoyed to see her, Charlotte is immediately drawn to the young woman who took her place. Lizzie (Logan Browning) is a cellist virtuoso just as Charlotte was. Urged by Anton, the two play a duet and an immediate and intense connection is made. Seemingly on a whim, Charlotte joins Lizzie on the younger woman's planned vacation trip to Shanghai. When Lizzie becomes seriously ill in China, Charlotte tries desperately to help her... until strange and devastating events plunge them into nightmarish circumstances and a journey from which they may never return.
Is it any good?
Director Richard Shepard and his willing cast deliver a provocative, original, and gruesome psychological thriller that will surprise, repel, and satisfy fans who love bizarrely-clever horror films. Twists and turns come both when you expect them and when you don't. Viewers shouldn't look too closely at every plot point (Why in the world would Lizzie be sent away at such an inopportune time?), but a willingness to suspend disbelief throughout will be rewarded by the film's spectacularly freakish resolution. And, the less you know about the story going in, the better. The Perfection is only suitable for grownups with strong stomachs and an affinity for the macabre.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the violence and brutality in The Perfection. How did you react to some of the more shocking events? Did you cover your eyes? Laugh at the excess? Were you aware of how much violence in the film is directed toward women?
Why do you think audiences find "revenge" movies so appealing? What emotions or experiences do those movies tap into? In real life, what does revenge accomplish?
Describe your feelings about Charlotte. How did your attitude toward her change as the movie moved forward? When, if ever, was she sympathetic? Besides her acting skills in a demanding role, why was casting Allison Williams a smart decision? What is there about Williams that helped make the character believable?
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