Review of 'The Platform (El hoyo)'

the_platform.jpg Goreng (Ivan Massagué) wakes to find himself in “The Hole” sharing a room with veteran Trimagasi (Zorion Eguileor). They are on level 48 with identical room above and below them. Every day a platform containing food descends through a rectangular hole in the ceiling, stopping for a few minutes, before descending to the room below. At each level more and more food is consumed leaving less for those below. A few rules govern how the facility works: Each inmate can keep a single item from the outside world, you can't hoard food from the platform, every month the inmates are gassed and moved to different level, and, any inmate that survives for six months is free to go. On the next cycle Goreng wakes on level 171 where the full horror of the situation is made clear: Those at the top eat well, those in the middle eat the leftovers and those below eat nothing, often turning on themselves or committing suicide. The wild-eyed Trimagasi sets his eyes on consuming Goreng but before he can do so is killed by a silent, violent young girl Miharu (Alexandra Masangkay) descending on the platform. Goreng comes up with a plan to allow everyone in the Hole to survive, but the inhabitants cooperate to let it work?

A real psychological thriller and outright horror as we learn the rules of The Hole through the eyes of newcomer Goreng, struggling to maintain his humanity while those around him lose theirs. An interesting premise that brings to mind Cube but, perhaps, a bit more extreme (if you can believe it). This is a dirty, dog-eat-dog world driven by simple ruthless rules that blatantly satirise the social stratification between rich and poor. The food begins it's journey as a beautiful banquet that is quickly despoiled by those below with the top levels gorging themselves to the expense of those below despite there being enough, as noted by Goreng, for all if they were to share. The actors are pretty much left to go rogue with most of the acting being physical or psychological in nature – Menacing looks, attacking one another, etc, etc. It is all utterly horrific and utterly believable with only a slight suspension of disbelief.

Nasty, violent, but compelling film that keeps you guessing as to how it will all end…This is an “idea” film whose underlying premise is quite simple.

Rating: “Nearly perfect, but not quite”

Review Date: 2022-02-13

Directed by: Galder Gaztelu-Urrutia

Studio: Basque Films

Year: 2019

Length: 94 minutes

Genre: Horror