Fresh (2022) Review

Spoiler-free so you can read before you watch

Fresh (2022) Review

Horrorific content by christina on March 30th, 2022 | Movie Review | Love Sick, Cannibalism, Gore

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The horrors of modern dating seen through one young woman's defiant battle to survive her new boyfriend's unusual appetites.

Fresh is the feature debut from Mimi Cave. It features a screenplay by Lauryn Kahn and stars Sebastian Stan, Daisy Edgar-Jones, Jonica T. Gibbs, and Charlotte Le Bon. It also just so happens to be a Hulu original, so be sure to check it out there if you’re interested. Now let’s unpack whether Fresh is worth your consideration.

Love You To Pieces!

Fresh Review

If there’s one thing the horror genre does exceptionally well, it’s addressing the scarier parts of everyday life in a fun, thought-provoking, and often blood-chilling way. That said, it was only a matter of time before someone decided to make a horror movie about the often harrowing online dating experience.

Anyone who’s spent much time on any of today’s hot dating apps knows what a mixed bag they are. Sometimes you’re lucky enough to meet a real gem or two, but the vast majority of the folks you’ll run into leave you scratching your head and wondering how on earth they manage to coexist with other people at all.

Noa (Edgar-Jones) understands that state of affairs all too well and is understandably frustrated by the endless parade of losers she’s met. However, she refuses to give up hope and continues on the off chance her Prince Charming is not only out there but actively using Tinder or Bumble. The film actually introduces us to Noa during a particularly bad date with a man aptly named Chad.

In fact, Chad is so cringe-worthy, it makes perfect sense that when Noa meets the charming Steve (Stan) in the grocery store soon after, she falls for him nearly immediately. However, as one might guess, Steve seems just a bit too good to be true, even raising a few red flags with Noa’s gal pal Mollie (Gibbs). Still, Noa wants to believe in love, even agreeing to go away with Steve on a romantic getaway to an undisclosed location.

Of course, it’s then that things start to go horribly awry in a way that makes it impossible not to understand Steve isn’t what he seems. But can Noa undo her mistake before it’s too late?

It’s hard to talk about Fresh without entirely giving away the dark knowledge of who and what Steve really is, although much of the advertising and promotional art attached to the film makes it hard to miss. But suffice it to say, they don’t call the dating scene a meat market for nothing. This film is newcomer Cave’s attempt to explore that idea from a fascinating angle.

That said, Fresh is many things. It’s gory, it’s satirical, and it’s darkly comic in a way that makes it clear this film doesn’t take itself too seriously. It definitely presents an interesting take on the horrors of dating as they relate to today’s app-crazy society. However, there are also several ways the film starts to fall apart that make it a challenge to stay focused on the positive at times.

For instance, there are some writing issues here. Think rookie moves like plot inconsistencies, character motivations that don’t add up, and a marked lack of actual horror or dread. To be fair, the always incredible Sebastian Stan makes it easier to believe someone would throw caution to the wind after even one pleasant encounter. Still, the utter lack of reservation Noa has about taking up with him so thoroughly and quickly raises an eyebrow, especially for female viewers.

Worth Watching?

Fresh serves up enough that’s positive to make it an exciting watch from start to finish, like terrific performances from the core cast, especially Stan, Edgar-Jones, and Jonica Gibbs’s fantastic portrayal of Mollie. It’s definitely worth a watch, but be sure to keep your salt handy. You’ll need a few grains.

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