By Ryan Murphy
Halloween isn’t just a time for spooky or horror movies. Thrillers have their own version of scary to keep you up at night. This is true for “The Platform” or “El hoyo,” an award-winning, Spanish dystopian thriller released in 2019.
The movie follows Goreng (Iván Massagué), a man who enters the “Vertical Self-Management Center.” He is able to bring one item with him, and he chooses the book “Don Quijote.” The building is used as a prison, but Goreng willingly enters for six months in order to earn his diploma. It doesn’t take long for him to realize that the diploma might not be worth it.
The building itself is extremely tall. Each floor houses two cellmates, with a giant hole in the middle. Everyday, a platform filled with food descends from the top. It is a table fit for royalty. It stops on every floor for only two minutes for the residents to eat. It reaches the bottom, and then soars back to the top to be refilled for the next day. If any food remains on the level, the temperature of the level changes, rising or falling, until both people are dead.
The problem is that the people on the first so many floors gorge themselves on the food, eating more than they need to, so by the time the platform reaches the lower floors, there is little to no food left. Every month, the cellmates are moved to a new floor. If someone dies, their place is filled with a new cellmate. One character, Miharu, takes advantage of this system in an effort to find her son.
Miharu (Alexandra Masangkay) rides the platform down every month, trying to find her child. She also kills her cellmate before she leaves, hoping that the next month, she will be assigned her son.
“The Platform” is quite grotesque and not for the faint of heart. There is violence, nudity and tons of blood and gore. However, it carries with it a powerful message. The movie is an allegory for the high people in society using up resources until there are none left for the people below.
There is enough food for everyone in the building if it is rationed out, but no one ever tries to do it. That is until Goreng comes along.
“The Platform” is available to stream on Netflix with the rating “TV-MA” for graphic violence and foul language. However, this is not just a movie; it is a social statement, and sometimes, they can get messy.