THE PLATFORM (EL HOYO) MM D: Galder Gaztelu-Urrutia. Spain. 90 min. Sep 6, 11:59 pm, Ryerson; Sep 8, 10 pm, Scotiabank 2; Sep 15, 7:15 pm, Scotiabank 2. Rating: NNNNN
The Platform is going to be a hard one to beat for the Midnight Madness People’s Choice award. It has everything: low comedy, political allegory, left-field twists, crowd-pleasing surprises, spectacular violence, sadism, altruism and yet more spectacular violence, all wrapped up in a high-concept horror movie that moves the premise of Cube into a merciless vertical structure. It’s grotesque and compelling, like grindhouse Buñuel. And it never blinks.
The Pit is a massive dystopian prison with dozens – perhaps hundreds – of levels, each stacked atop the other. Every day, a large platform descends through each level, containing enough food for everyone… if everyone eats the same amount. Of course this does not happen; those on the upper levels gorge themselves, leaving the people on the lower levels to starve.
It’s a vivid metaphor, and screenwriters David Desola and Pedro Rivero wring every drop of meaning out of it, establishing a simple premise and complicating it relentlessly with physical challenges and moral complications. Brace yourselves.