Fresh: A Fresh Take on Horror

In the modern age of horror, directors such as Ari Aster and Jordan Peele turn contemporary issues into art. “Fresh,” directed by Mimi Cave in her directorial debut, does the same. This film tells of the horrors of dating, following a young woman who feels stuck after online dating and meets a mysterious man at the supermarket. They hit it off and take a weekend getaway that turns sour.

Noa (Daisy Edgar-Jones) is a nice and normal girl who meets Steve (Sebastian Stan) by chance at the supermarket. Steve is a nice and handsome doctor, so what could go wrong? The pair instantly hit it off. When Noa tells her best friend Mollie (Jonica T. Gibbs) about Steve, she calls out many red flags. Steve has no social media and Noa quickly reassures her and says there is no problem. Mollie is also surprised when Noa and Steve decide to take a weekend vacation. When the time comes for the pair to go away, Noa cannot seem to find a signal. Steve drugs her on their first night and she awakes the following day to find she is locked in a room. Noa finds out her perfect boyfriend has some unusual appetites she must adjust to. 

The cinematography was one stunning aspect of “Fresh.” Headed by Pawel Pogorzelski, the shots were extremely eerie and I felt like I was always on the edge of my seat waiting for something to happen. Many of the shots look euphoric and dreamy, leading you to believe that they are not even real. 

Superstar performances by the two leads stole the show. Stan did a great job as a maniac with a soft spot and Edgar-Jones gave a commanding performance. Stan’s nice but menacing eyes draw you in and hold your attention for the full two-hour runtime. It was nice to see the two actors in roles they would not normally play. 

The stylish nature of the film’s visual style made the story even more interesting. The retro seventies-esque scenery and clothing add to the film’s dreamy aesthetic. The title does not appear until 30 minutes into the movie, signifying the beginning of the real story. 

The only stale aspect of the film was the ending. I felt it was extremely anticlimactic. After building up the action of the movie, the ending felt flat and not much really happened. For a film about cannibalism, I felt there lacked blood and gore. I wish the film would have delved more into that aspect of the film and gave audiences a bigger glimpse into Steve’s mind. 

Cave’s “Fresh” makes for an interesting watch if you are a fan of modern horror. The film showcases the great parts of horror, and its great screenplay and actors help this unusual story feel not so unusual. 

“Fresh” is now streaming on Hulu.