The Platform Parent Guide
Streaming on Netflix: This movie might be unrated, but cannibalism, nudity, and profanity push it clearly into the Restricted category.
Parent Movie Review
The Pit is a seemingly endless prison, in which each cell is stacked directly above the other. Food is provided on a floating table that descends through a large rectangular hole in the middle of the cells. The problem? The food is only loaded once, at the very top. The lower you get, the less food there is, until eventually there’s none at all. When Goreng (Ivan Massagué) enters for a 6 month term, he quickly finds that when the food runs out, so do a lot of human values…
I’m going to start with the content, since there’s a whole lot of it to get through. Violence is easily the biggest concern here, with repeated murders and acts of cannibalism. I started this movie with a bowl of chocolate ice-cream, which I had to put away by about the 30 minute mark. This may be the first film I’ve seen to make me lose my appetite. Something about maggots writhing in a corpse as someone eats it just puts me right off. There’s less profanity than you’ll find in some other streaming movies, but there’s still a lot of it. And, for that little European film flavor, there are several instances of full-frontal male nudity. This really isn’t a film to watch with the kids. Or almost anyone else, for that matter.
Which is too bad, because it’s a thought-provoking film with a lot of interesting ideas buried between the burnt bodies and bare butt cheeks. The film raises interesting questions about everything from human nature, to distribution of wealth and resources in society, to the issues around cannibalism in survival situations. There’s a lot to sink your teeth into, as long as it’s not the person on the couch next to you.
The production is very clean, with almost all of the action taking place in any one of hundreds of identical grey concrete cells, leaving you with little to focus on but the interpersonal nightmare unravelling between the characters. Best of all, for North American audiences, is the surprisingly good English dub for a Spanish production, which means that those of you who strongly dislike reading subtitles won’t have to. It’s a smart move on Netflix’s part to appeal to a broader audience, but it seems like a wasted effort next to all the graphic cannibalism. I guess some people just really hate subtitles.
Excellently made, intelligent, and horrifying to watch, The Platform seems to me an excellent contender for the arthouse horror or cult horror classic reels. If that doesn’t sound like your scene, then you are well advised to find something a little less graphic. Or a lot less- just a little less would still be pretty gross, probably somewhere around the opening scene to Saving Private Ryan…just to give you some perspective.Directed by Galder Gaztelu-Urrutia. Starring Ivan Massagué, Zorion Eguileor, and Antonia San Juan. Running time: 94 minutes. Theatrical release March 20, 2020. Updated May 14, 2020
Watch the trailer for The Platform
Rating & Content Info
Why is The Platform rated Not Rated? The Platform is rated Not Rated by the MPAA
Violence: Individuals are repeatedly stabbed or beaten to death. People are repeatedly shown committing suicide by various methods. Individuals are shown cutting others for the purposes of cannibalism. People are frequently shown eating others. A dog is killed. Two badly burned bodies are shown. Maggots are shown thriving on a corpse.
Sexual Content: There are several scenes of full-frontal male nudity in a non-sexual context. A person is shown masturbating. There are two instances of female topless nudity. Two people are shown having sex. In one scene, you can hear individuals offscreen having sex.
Profanity: I did this count based on the English dub, so your mileage may vary if you watch with subtitles. In that version, there are 29 uses of a sexual expletive and 15 uses of scatological cursing, along with repeated uses of moderate and mild profanity and terms of deity.
Alcohol / Drug Use: Individuals are occasionally shown smoking cigarettes and drinking wine.
Page last updated May 14, 2020
Loved this movie? Try these books…
Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantesis frequently referenced in the film, and focuses on the misadventures of its eponymous hero, Don Quixote de la Mancha, a senile knight-errant, determined to revive the lost art of chivalry with only the help of his “squire”, a local farmer.
Samuel Beckett’s absurdist masterpiece Waiting for Godot, though sharing little in terms of plot or structure, is a similarly interesting character study of individuals under pressure and the ideas people have about morality and individuality.
Edgar Allan Poe’s The Pit and the Pendulum is also set in Spain (but during the Inquisition) and also features a looming pit (but without food). Similar features, different ideas.