“Fresh”: A completely new take on horror


Photo by Saanvi Gadila

Freshman Saanvi Gadila enjoys the movie “Fresh” on Hulu.

The movie “Fresh” was released on Jan. 20 and follows Noa (played by Daisy Edgar-Jones) and her experiences with the modern dating world as she meets a charming stranger Steve (played by Sebastian Stan) in the supermarket and agrees to go away with him for the weekend despite her best friend, Mollie’s, (played by Jojo T. Gibbs) doubts in the kind stranger. Noa has yet to discover Steve’s sinister appetite.   

The movie begins with Noa’s attempts to psych herself up for another first date, expecting another night full of awkward small talk and casual misogyny. The date ends as expected, but the regret of wasting another night in search of something that seems basically impossible to find is quickly forgotten when Noa meets sweet-talking and sincere Steve, and in the produce aisle of the supermarket of all places. The two quickly hit it off and after the first few dates, Steve invites Noa to a fun weekend getaway surrounded by nothing but peaceful nature. Little does Noa know, the earlier revealed fact that Steve doesn’t eat meat is going to have a whole new meaning to it after this weekend. 

The first 30 minutes explore the lows of dating and then seemingly uplift in the plot into a well-deserved redemption arc for Noa, setting the movie up to seem like a cheesy rom-com. The sudden tonal shift makes the watcher painfully aware of the horror that lies ahead.

The well written and energetic script by Lauryn Kahn would have trouble coming alive if it wasn’t for the eccentric performances by Edgar-Jones and Stan. Stan’s unhinged and incredibly theatrical performance and Edgar-Jones tactics of making a crazy situation believable and bringing a depth to Noa that evolves her to be more than just your average scream queen bring a new edge to this film. 

As Noa becomes increasingly disoriented, the camera begins to include shots overhead and upside down to effectively pull the watcher in. Next are the extreme close-ups of gnashing teeth and meat montages, that perfectly reveal Steve’s sinister actions, as the increased volume of chewing and swallowing evoke a sense of nausea and uneasiness. 

“Fresh” manages to perfectly tie the playful yet sickening elements of itself, pushing the boundaries of obscenity scene after scene. Though the mischievous and gruesome style is the main focus, it also knows when to pull back and create moments of vulnerability and a chance to revel in Steve’s horrific nature as it tends to dive into his tender back story. 

Though the movie is given endless praise, it is not perfect. The plot loses tension as the pace of events seems to quicken, bringing an unsatisfactory feeling when the end credits begin to roll. But at the end of the day, most people do not put too much thought into a movie when they watch it and so if you are willing to allow yourself to get swept off your feet with the heightened absurdity of “Fresh,” it is a jaw-dropping and stomach churning delight.