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Every movie ever made is made better when you don’t know exactly what’s going to happen before you watch, but that’s being said, The Perfection is a special case. Simply put, it’s one of the most surprising horror features released in recent memory, and possesses some major twists during its runtime that audiences will definitely not see coming. As such, it’s a feature that deserves extra protection from widely spread spoilers as it makes its way to Netflix this week – and that’s not just me talking, but also the film’s director and stars.
This past week I had the immense pleasure of sitting down with writer/director Richard Shepard and actresses Allison Williams and Logan Browning, and one subject that I brought up during both conversations was the way in which they hope that audiences will wind up discussing the movie. There’s a bit of an extra challenge involved given that it will be available to watch instantly by Netflix subscribers everywhere on Friday, but as Browning put it, The Perfection isn’t a film that you should recommend to your friends by simply explaining it beat for beat:
I really don't want people to spoil it for each other…. So you have to kind of go in early and then really respect your friends and just encourage them to go watch it. Because I think it's way more fun, way more enjoyable to talk to someone about, 'Oh, remember when that happened?' instead of telling them everything and then they have a ruined experience. So yeah, just don't spoil it, and enjoy it!
For his part, Richard Shepard agreed that the movie is best experienced when audiences know as little about it as possible – but also added that even if you are aware of some plot details, there is still a lot going on in the film that people will be able to appreciate. The Perfection is purposefully built with different layers (he describes it as “unique and sexy and weird and dark, and also funny”), and is personally excited to hear about the conversation that surrounds it following its release. He explained,
The greatest genre movies always have more than one thing going on. There's social commentary, there's hopefully film aesthetic commentary, and then there's just the fun of a good genre movie. And I hope that The Perfection has all of those things… But part of the joy of this movie is kind of going in a little blind. So it's going to be interesting as it drops all over the world on the same day. But in a way that's kind of what the beauty of this situation is. It's like, 'Here it is. Now let's see if people gravitate toward it.'
While I most certainly won’t spoil the movie for you here, it’s safe to mention that The Perfection stars Allison Williams as a former cello prodigy named Charlotte Willmore, who finds her way back into the music world following the death of her mother – whose sickness was the reason she left in the first place. Reuniting with her former instructor (Steven Weber) during an event in China, she has the opportunity to meet Logan Browning’s Elizabeth Wells, who has experienced all the global acclaim and fame to which Charlotte once came so close. The two of them immediately bond, agreeing to go on a two week vacation together, but things start to go horribly wrong when a night out partying results in Lizzy starting to feel exceptionally sick.
Allison Williams, of course, has some notable experience with big twists thanks to her acclaimed part in Get Out, and she had her own interesting perspective to add to the conversation. She definitely agreed with Logan Browning that specific details from The Perfection shouldn’t just be dropped on friends or blasted on social media, but she also has a certain hands-off approach that recognizes that the movie doesn’t really belong to the filmmakers or stars once it’s released; it belongs to the audience. Said Williams,
This is now that weird moment where it's not ours anymore. And so I can hope that people interact with this theme or that theme or whatever, but for the most part I'm learning this is when we just throw up our hands and say, 'Okay, we've raised you as best we can. Now be good in the world and take care of yourself!' I'm so curious to see what people's reactions are to it, because that's always this other phase of doing a movie. You learn stuff about it when you hear other people thinking and engaging with it. So I agree. Don't spoil it for people. Memes will happen, and hopefully people just won't know the context of them.
You can watch my conversation with Logan Browning, Allison Williams, and Richard Shepard about protecting The Perfection spoilers by clicking play on the video below.