Review: Sci-fi thriller 'The Platform' mixes social commentary, cannibalism

It's a lot to stomach, but this Netflix thriller delivers the goods

Adam Graham
The Detroit News

Talk about a food fight. 

"The Platform" is equal parts disgusting and thought-provoking, an astute psychological thriller and timely sociological commentary wrapped in the gauze of a gritty midnight B-picture playing at the seedy local grindhouse.    

Ivan Massagué and Zorion Eguileor in "The Platform."

In other words: It's a feast. Eat up. 

Iván Massagué is Goreng, who awakens to find himself in a concrete room with a large rectangle hole in the middle of the floor. He has a cell mate, Trimagasi (Zorion Eguileor), who's prone to saying "obviously" a lot. There are floors above and below him. He learns he's on level 48 of the structure.

A platform lowers from above. Spread across it is a smorgasbord of food, except it's all been picked over. See, the meal started at Level 1 and has been passed down from there, one floor at a time. It's on its way next to level 49, and so on. And it only comes once a day.   

To eat or to starve? To leave food for those below you or let them fend for themselves? It's class structure in a snapshot, and Spanish director Galder Gaztelu-Urrutia doesn't shy away from the political allegory. It's the whole point of his tale. 

Trimagasi scolds Goreng for communicating with those on the floor below him. "The people below us," he says, "are below us."

There are twists — cells are reassigned to a different level, at random, every 30 days — and things get violent and gory, quick. 

But if you can stomach it, "The Platform" is a funny and fierce farce with its eyes on race, class and the ways people can rise up for the betterment of all by working together. It's a message caked in blood, bile and excrement, but it's there. "The Platform" gives you plenty to chew on. Obviously.

'The Platform'


Not rated: Extreme violence, nudity, disturbing imagery

Running time: 95 minutes

On Netflix