‘Fresh’ Film Review

In the tradition of movies that have been known to inspire shock and fascination, Fresh seems to join the pack. Just one viewing is bound to cause a reaction from those lucky enough to stream it. However you see it, Fresh is a really unique movie to come out in the first half of 2022. While it is marketed as a horror-comedy, Fresh is at the least, unsettling. Much like other horror films of this level, I have a feeling that it will be another cult classic, discussed by many for its disturbingly strange nature.

Directed by Mimi Cave, Fresh stars Daisy Edgar-Jones as Noa, a young woman trying to navigate the world of online dating, yet with very little success. Most of her dates tend to be ignorant snobs who don’t even have one shed of decency. All that seems to change when she has a run-in with Steve (Sebastian Stan), a seemingly-average man who comes off as awkward at flirting, but has no care for whatever social apps people are using; preferring real-world meetings to technology. It soon becomes clear that they hit it off as they go out for a date, and he invites her to take a trip to his place over the weekend. What could possibly go wrong? Knowing the horror-movie formula, Steve is not all he seems, as he has a rather unusual appetite. Need I say more without giving it away? I dare not.

From the moment we finally get an opening title/credits sequence, which takes place around the 33-minute mark, Fresh diverts itself from being a tale of romance to a darkly funny horror movie, which utilizes tension as much as it can. The shock and awe on display makes for an uneasy experience. I would say it is less of a date movie (unless your significant other is into this brand of horror) and more of a cautionary tale, even though the message of the dangers of online dating have been around since the internet took off. Stan is perfect as Steve, as he does have the charisma to pull off sweet and awkward, while also being menacing once the wolf gets revealed under the guise of a sheep. He is also funny when he needs to be; displayed in a scene where he dances to Animotion’s “Obsession” while in his kitchen. Edgar-Jones is also great as Noa, as her demeanor is that of vulnerability. With these two, you have a perfect match of odds. Cave has all the ingredients to make a stomach-churning dish that stays with you until its gruesome finale. Whether you know what you’re in for, or are just walking into it cold, Fresh is quite a meal.


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