If Denis Villeneuve’s brilliant short film Next Floor mated with Vincenzo Natali’s Cube, the result would be The Platform. Taking inequality to bloody new depths, director Galder Gaztelu-Urruita’s film is an intense ride. When a man volunteers to incarcerate himself in The Pits for six months, in exchange for an accredited diploma, he is unaware of the horrors to come. A multi-level structure with a hollowed core, the only sustenance provided comes via the dumbwaiter that momentarily delivers a feast to each level.

The catch is that the higher floors eat as much as they want first and those beneath get the scraps left over; forcing those near the bottom to find more barbaric means of survival.

Using its ingenious premise and minimalistic approach to generate maximum tension, The Platform packs plenty of social commentary in its brisk running time. Gaztelu-Urruita’s film not only addresses issues of poverty, race, gender and disability, but also employs a diverse cast to adequately hit the message home. Despite its thrilling moments, The Platform stumbles in the latter half. The commentary becomes muddled as Gaztelu-Urruita frequently gets lost in violent excess. Showing moments of unrealized brilliance, The Platform is intriguing but does not quite reach the depths it could have.

Sunday, September 8, Scotiabank, 10:00 PM
Sunday, September 15, Scotiabank, 7:15 PM