Fresh, recently released by Hulu, is a slow-burn psychological thriller with a horrifically delicious concept. I went into this movie expecting a casual watch, but found myself taken for a suspenseful, tense, and eerily realistic ride.
After watching, I can officially say that Fresh‘s popularity has been deserved. Written and directed by women, Fresh depicts the female perspective of modern dating and love in its darkest sense. Warning: this review contains mild spoilers.
We follow Noa, played by Daisy Edgar-Jones, whose dating experience has left her unfulfilled and distrustful (for good reason). This all changes when she meets Steve, played by Sebastian Stan, who is handsome, charismatic, and as it turns out – a cannibal who imprisons women to sell their meat.
Fresh manages to take disturbing subject matter and lighten it up.
Steve’s human meat business and his twisted, romantic pursuit of Noa are compelling and deeply disturbing. Thankfully, it’s not too uncomfortable, as Fresh has plenty of dark humor that helps to lighten the tone.
Fresh stays at a slow pace until its ending, where things jump to an action-filled and high-energy climax. It’s satisfying, cathartic, and notably the first time we see blood within the whole movie (so if you were looking for a gory flick, you’re out of luck).
Daisy Edgar-Jones and Sebastian Stan give outstanding performances. Edgar-Jones’s protagonist is relatable and easy to lend sympathy to, while Stan’s antagonist is menacingly calculated. Stan sheds his composure at the end, and without going over the top, shows how truly threatening and aggressive his character is.
I really enjoy the coloring of this film, as the palette consists of warmer, inviting tones. On another technical note, Fresh is made unique by its frequent sequences of extreme close-ups. I’ll admit that it was jarring to watch at first, but I eventually saw it as a special part of this movie’s personality.
Now to talk about Fresh‘s opening credits. Strangely enough, they begin at the thirty-three-minute mark and I am still unsure how I should feel about it. On one hand, it gives the audience a chance to prepare for the dark subject matter, on the other hand, it may pull you out of the watching experience (as it did for me).
Do you think Fresh lived up to its hype? Tell us why or why not in the comments section.