Netflix's new horror film The Platform has a chilling hidden meaning behind it

9 April 2020, 17:51

By Sophie Thompson

The Platform is Netflix's latest foreign-language horror movie, that follows a 333-storey prison block, whereby a platform feeds the prisoners at the top as they watch the ones below starve.

If you're a horror movie fan, there's a pretty good chance that you've seen Netflix's new Spanish thriller set in the not-so-distant future, The Platform.

The foreign language movie, also known as El Hoyo, has already bagged an 82% Rotten Tomatoes rating for its eery journey into what future prisons look like, with vertical tower blocks and a single platform of food between all of the inmates - with those at the top eating like kings, while they watch those on the lower levels starve and go full cannibal on their cellmates just to avoid going hungry.

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The Platform has already been dubbed one of the scariest movies of 2020.
The Platform has already been dubbed one of the scariest movies of 2020. Picture: Netflix

Starring Iván Massagué as main character Goreng, we watch as the voluntary inmate (in exchange for a college degree) battles his way through six months of being entrapped on various levels of the jail, where his cellmates never last long.

On level 171, his first new friend, Trimagasi, attempts to murder him so he can eat his flesh as they face prospects of a month on that floor without food, before a rogue inmate slips the mad man's throat to save innocent Gureng. He then moves up to level 33 where the quality of life is slightly better, and he encounters Imoguiri, a former guard who kills herself when they get moved right down to level 202.

After being told by Imoguiri that the prison is actually an experiment in “spontaneous solidarity”, Gureng sets about trying to change the greediness of the people on the floors above, making sure people on all 333 levels get fed. And yes, the 333 floors with two inmates on each floor is a representation of 666, AKA the devil.

From there until the end, the souls of both of his former roomies haunt him while he puts his life on the line to help those who need it most.

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But what does The Platform mean and what is the message?

If you can see through the surface of this gruesome movie, it actually holds pretty important symbolism for the real world.

Many people think it's a representation of greed in society. The notion is that, if each person only took enough to get by, there'd be plenty for everyone. But that's not always how people act - a pretty poignant message in the current coronavirus pandemic.

Those on the upper floors of the prison get to indulge in banquets of their favourite foods, and as they let their heads get the better of them and the platform moves down to each level, there simply isn't enough to go around, leaving people on the bottom floors starving to death.

Seems pretty feasible, right?

However, director of the film, Galder Gaztelu-Urrutia told Digital Spy that there's no concrete message, and he wants it to be left open to interpretation: "At the end of the day, the movie isn't going to change the world, but it may change the viewer.

"Therefore we don't mess with anyone in particular either, the only times we directly have characters represent anyone, it's the hallucinations of Trimagasi and Imoguiri, who represent selfishness and altruism.

"The film doesn't portray anyone as particularly bad or good; it's all about asking what would you do if you found yourself in level 200, or in level 48."

Being compared to award-winning Parasite, this psychological thriller isn't for the faint-hearted, but if there was ever a time to brave it, it's while you don't need to get up in the morning. Sleepless night, incoming.