Netflix's The Perfection ending explained: The meaning behind the film's huge plot twist

25 May 2019, 20:31

Nicky Idika

By Nicky Idika

Unpacking the unbelievable ending to Netflix's horror thriller 'The Perfection'.

Netflix's newest horror thriller The Perfection arrived on the platform on May 24 and it stars Logan Browning (Dear White People) and Allison Williams (Get Out). The Perfection hasn't been out long but Netflix viewers are already reacting strongly to THAT wild ending and twist.

WARNING: Spoilers for The Perfection ahead

The Perfection tells the story of a talented cellist, named Charlotte Willmore (Allison Williams), who puts her music career on hold so that she can take care of her terminally ill mother. When her mother dies, Charlotte contacts her former mentor, Anton Bachoff, and jets off to Shanghai to join him and another cello prodigy, Lizzie (Logan Browning).

Charlotte and Lizzie have a connection and sleep together after judging a cello competition followed by a night of dancing.

When they wake up the next morning, Charlotte and Lizzie set out on their trip. Soon Lizzie begins feeling ill, throwing up bugs, and seeing creatures crawling under her skin. Conveniently, Charlotte has a butcher's knife and suggests that the only way to solve the problem is to cut her hand off.

Charlotte holds up a knife in The Perfection
Charlotte holds up a knife in The Perfection. Picture: Netflix/The Perfection

Why does Charlotte make Lizzie cut off her own hand and how does she make her hallucinate?

Charlotte's plan is extremely calculated. She begins in the morning by giving Lizzie pills that she claims are regular ibuprofen tablets. Later, we learn that the pills are actually leftover medication from Charlotte's dead mother that have to ability to make someone hallucinate, itch and feel nauseous. Charlotte gives these pills to Lizzie who immediately begins to feel sick.

Throughout the morning Charlotte mentions bugs in order to plant the idea of bugs being around Lizzie. These suggestions trigger Lizzie to have hallucinations of bugs in her vomit and under her skin.

Lizzie cuts off hand in The Perfection
Lizzie cuts off hand in The Perfection. Picture: Netflix/Screenshot

Despite what the viewer thinks at first, Charlotte later explains that she was never jealous of Lizzie. Charlotte orchestrated the ordeal in order to help her escape Bachoff because knew Lizzie would never leave on her own.

What did Anton Bachoff do to Charlotte?

During her time as a protégé of Anton's, Charlotte was expected to play the cello perfectly and make no mistakes. When she did not play perfectly, Anton sexually abused her. That is why Charlotte wants to get Lizzie away from him. It's because she knows what he did to her and other students like her.

After Charlotte influences Lizzie to cut off her own hand, she explains her reasoning. "They tortured us and pretended it was an education. Pretended it was some kind of higher calling. But it was just rape, Lizzie. They raped me and they raped you."

Charlotte and Lizzie both have music note tattoos - What does the music note tattoo mean?

Netflix The Perfection Tattoo
Netflix The Perfection Tattoo. Picture: Netflix/Screenshot
The Perfection music tattoo
The Perfection music tattoo. Picture: Netflix/Screenshot

When Anton would invite students to play in the chapel for his small audience, in order to "achieve the perfection", they would receive tattoos. It was almost a way of marking the girls. Charlotte knew that Lizzie has been through the same things as her because she saw the tattoo after they'd slept with each other.

In the end, Charlotte has lost her left arm, Lizzie has lost her right hand, and they've cut off Bachoff's arms and legs so he can only hear.

The Perfection Ending
The Perfection Ending. Picture: Netlfix/Screenshot

During the fight in one of the last scenes, Anton stabs Charlotte through the arm, destroying it. Lizzie manages to attack him, though, and she and Charlotte survive.

In the final scene, we see them go up to the chapel stage where they would play for Anton as kids. Charlotte has lost her entire arm and Lizzie's right hand was obviously cut off earlier.

They play together, acting as each other's arms with Charlotte moving the bow with her right hand and Lizzie playing the fingerboard with her left hand.

Anton Bachoff does not have any arms or legs. His mouth is sewn shut, as are his eyes. He can only hear them play.