Fresh

Director / Mimi Cave - Thriller/Body Horror

*Contains a few minor spoilers 

What It's About

A social commentary on dating today. Noa, a twenty-something, tired of scrolling and dating apps, meets a charming man at the grocery store in the produce section. After a pleasant exchange she takes a chance and gives him her number although her expectations aren’t high. She’s become pretty cynical about dating. But then… He texts. They go out on a date. It’s great. There’s chemistry, attraction. He’s even a doctor. Could he be the one? 

There’s only one problem, Steve is part of an elite few who have very distinguished… Shall I say? Tastes?

What I Thought

Loved it. It was a unique script. Great acting skills by Sebastian Stan (The Marvel Cinematic Universe; Captain America, Pam and Tommy) who nailed the duality of his role as “the charming guy” and the cold, remorseless Steve. Daisy Edgar-Jones (War of the Worlds) was flawless playing the young woman who’s just looking for love and trying to protect herself all at the same time. She was a strong character.

When I say it’s a social commentary on how dating is now. It mocks the swipe right dating culture in general. The pointless carousel of dating, how people demand so much without giving anything in return. There’s a humorously awkward scene where Noa is on a date with some guy named Chad, from one of those dreadful dating apps. He’s a total jerk and it’s just cringeworthy.  

Dating. It can literally eat you alive. (No pun intended)

When Noa meets Steve, she’s hopeful. He’s handsome, engaging and charming. She lets her guard down with a “f*ck it” attitude and lets him in only to find herself in a terrifyingly vulnerable situation. He has a taste for human flesh. Particularly women.  

When Noa realizes what she’s got herself into, it’s a fight to survive and outsmart the man holding her captive. 

At points you wonder if she’s actually falling in love with her captor. Even after everything that happens you still get this sense that she has feelings for him. You also get the impression that she is particularly special to him. Through time she tries to reach him, even understand him. She does things that leave her feeling morally wrong. It’s a horror but also a drama.

Having no family, the only person that can help her is her best friend, Mollie (Jojo T. Gibbs). She’s the no nonsense man-distrusting, quick-witted friend. Mollie’s character was great. Strong, fierce and funny. 

That’s another thing about this movie- even though the subject matter is disturbing, there’s a surprising amount of humor which levels it out.

The body horror/gore scenes are done tastefully and quickly, often coupled with a snappy soundtrack. The soundtrack in this movie was perfect for the tone. Songs like, A Perfect Day by Duran Duran, Endless Summer Nights by Richard Marx, Obsession by Animotion, there’s even an eerily slowed down version of Exit Music (For a Film- (Radiohead) by a string quartet. The music added to the character development and it offered emotion to the movie.

Final Thoughts

5/5

Well, you probably won’t want to eat meat again after watching this. I can tell you that. The way this movie approached this subject matter was unique. Unique in the way that it explored the morality of cannibalism and how the filmmakers equated it to dating. It explores how vulnerable women can be no matter how strong they think they are, and showcases some male privilege. Yes, there were some graphic scenes but I’d say no more graphic than the brain scene in Hannibal (2001). Although it was mostly shown as cooked food, there’s a lot of meat processing involved. 

I loved how the mystery unfolded through the eyes of Mollie but experienced by Noa. I don’t want to give too much away because this was a really enjoyable watch, but there were a few really intriguing twists in the plot and I simply loved the ending. Let’s just say, there’s a big fight with some great dialogue resulting in two very exhausted women and a text from “Chad” asking, “U up?” It was perfect. 

Where To Find It

Hulu


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