When looking ahead at the horror movies set to be released throughout 2022, I didn’t predict that a film released through Hulu would set the benchmark in a cannibalistic, black comedy sub-genre with its Disney umbrella hat on.
Adam McKay, known for his time as head writer for Saturday NIght Live produced this film for Mimi Cave’s directorial debut. With Lauryn Kahn on screenwriting duties, we’re provided with a creative team that are able to tap into a vibrant, and at times brutally shocking script.
As the movie begins, we follow Noa (Daisy Edgar Jones) as she struggles to meet the right guy though online dating sites. When Noa has a chance encounter at a grocery store with Steve (Sebastian Stan), and a little flirting, there is the illusion that she has found Mr. Right after all.
It takes the first half an hour of playing in a rom-com domain before Cave takes a drastic turn in proceedings when Steve suggests a trip away with just the two of them.
What could easily slip into the usual kidnapping, hostage scenario with a leaning into Stockholm syndrome is delivered on a much harder palette to swallow when it is revealed that Steve has a penchant for human flesh.
This rather sadistic twist proves to be a strong benefit to the film’s narrative, forcing the viewer to grimace at the premise with morbid fascination and the lengths that Noa must endure to win her potential freedom. Despite her ordeal, Kahn slices up some delightful passages of dark humour that are handled and performed with delicacy, and at times during surprisingly warm scenes that conflict with the drama of the moment.
There is hope and despair, implemented with a friend everyone wishes they had looking out for them in Mollie (Jonica T. Gibbs), who also discovers that Steve harbours another life with his wife, Ann (Charlotte Le Bon), but how much does his wife really know? And what dangers lie beyond if Mollie dares to proceed with her pursuit in finding Noa?
Fresh is so much more than your average psychological, survival thriller. It is delivered with heart, soul, and a dash of dark humour that pushes the notion of survival to the extreme.
It leaves you questioning just how much you would go to in order to outwit your assailant when your ass is literally on the line and on the dinner table.
Highly impressive outing from Mimi Cave who proves that she can offer a film that has edge, thrills and lighted-hearted moments in the darkest of scenarios.
- Saul Muerte
Fresh is currently streaming on Disney Plus.