Fresh - New Release Review
Director: Mimi Cave
Starring: Daisy Edgar-Jones, Sebastian Stan, Jojo T. Gibbs, Andrea Bang
Written by: Lauryn Kahn
Produced by: Kevin J. Messick, Adam McKay
Cinematography by: Pawel Pogorzelski
Original Score by: Alex Somers
The horrors of modern dating seen through one young woman's defiant battle to survive her new boyfriend's unusual appetites.
‘Fresh’ asks the ultimate question in the dating world; If you met the man of your dreams, would you let him eat your ass on a first date? WOAH WOAH WOAH ADAM, I hear you cry! This is a movie review, why be so crass and shocking in the first sentence of your review? Well, let’s just say I'm mimicking the tonal shift of the movie. I’ll state now, if you want to go into this movie completely blind (which I highly recommend) stop reading. The film is excellent and is definitely worth your time. If you don’t mind some little spoilers, then let’s continue...
The first 30 minutes of this movie are a masterclass in subverting expectations. Our main character, Noa (Daisy Edgar-Jones), is very relatable at the beginning. Just making it by in life, day by day, trying to find a suitable partner to be with. We see her on a terrible date with literally the worst human being on the planet, a rude stuck up posh twat who wouldn’t know manners if it slapped him in his well moisturised face. Soon after, Noa bumps into Steve (Sebastian Stan) at a local supermarket and we get the typical fun rom com ‘meet cute’ moment, but it’s not long before we discover that Steve might actually be the worst human on the planet.
Before the movie drops a deliciously late title card, we discover that Steve isn't a nice guy looking for love. He’s a cannibal. Not only that, but he kidnaps women and slowly cuts them up piece by piece to sell on the dark web. Bonkers. That’s as far as I’ll go with plot spoilers, just know that things get wilder from there.
Sebastian Stan is the definite highlight of the movie. Many will know him from his MCU roles or even his handsome playboy days in 'Gossip Girl', but in ‘Fresh’ he delivers a spine-chilling performance as our likeable man eater. He’s full of charm and charisma, even when he’s chopping up his victims. I would guess that he took inspiration from real life killer Ted Bundy and some from fictional killer, Patrick Bateman. There’s something about his character being so fun and dangerous, that I thought for a second that if this was made in the 80’s, Steve would be a multi-film killer like Freddy or Jason.
Daisy Edgar-Jones is also incredible in the movie. I believed her character in every second of the film and really felt for what she was going through. She pulls off the romantic stuff really well, along with the more gruesome stuff towards the end. The director, Mimi Cave, deserves to helm any studio horror movie she wants after this debut. Cave presents each scene with incredible pace and precision. No time is wasted and Cave knows exactly when to sparkle in a laugh or a shocking moment to keep the audience interested.
The only drawbacks to the movie are that it is quite similar in structure to 'Get Out’. Down to secret societies and a very inquisitive best friend who gets involved by the third act. There’s also a subplot involving a bartender that some people will either find hilarious by the end or just misjudged.
I absolutely loved ‘Fresh’. I really wish it had got a cinema release, but more people will probably find this hidden gem on Disney+. Stan and Jones shine as our two leads, so much so that I could have watched a full rom com starring the two. I can’t wait to see what Mimi Cave does next, hopefully something that’ll make it to the big screen.
- Adam Neeson
You can stream 'Fresh' right now on Disney+