People are catching symptoms after watching ‘The Perfection’

Stop the bus.


Audra Schroeder

Internet Culture

Published May 29, 2019   Updated May 20, 2021, 11:39 am CDT

The Perfection will test your capacity for misdirection, implied sexual violence, and copious amounts of vomit.

The horror film, which debuted on Netflix last week, stars Allison Williams as Charlotte, a former cello prodigy who reunites with her mentor (Steven Weber) and sets her sights on new rising star Lizzie (Logan Browning).

The film nudges you into thinking Charlotte is trying to make Lizzie disappear out of jealousy, culminating in a scene in which the two travel by bus through the Chinese countryside–and Lizzie becomes violently ill. Trapped on a bus. With no windows to roll down. And lots of bodily fluids that want to come out. Also, maggots and roaches. 

Williams told People that the scene was inspired by director Richard Shepard’s own experience of getting sick on a bus in Mexico. There’s also a scene in which Lizzie, desperate and hallucinating, cuts off her own hand.

While the film’s final act addresses darker and more resonant themes, the middle act’s body horror has caused Twitter to collectively wretch.

Not everyone was sickened by the content. Some just wanted to shout out the film’s bigger themes.

This kind of visceral reaction is no doubt what Netflix wants, a new kind of viral crowdsourced marketing strategy. (Remember Bird Box?)  Thankfully there are memes to give us some levity.


H/T People

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*First Published: May 29, 2019, 5:47 pm CDT