Tuesday, May 23, 2023

Fresh: Embracing the Unexpected


I must confess, I walked into Mimi Cave's debut feature film, "Fresh," with little to no preconceived notions or expectations, much like biting into a new dish without asking for the ingredients first. And this, my friends, is precisely the way to approach this surprisingly delightful horror-thriller. Let's put the cards on the table straight away: this is a film that may not sit well with everyone, especially those who aren't keen on "elevated" cinema (yes, I'm also cringing at the term). However, for those willing to dive into the unknown, "Fresh" serves up a meal that's as intriguing as it is chilling.

In the era of online dating and swiping left or right, "Fresh" centers around Noa (Daisy Edgar-Jones), a young woman disillusioned with the digital dating scene's lack of charm and subtlety. Enter Steve (Sebastian Stan), a charismatic stranger who swoops in at a grocery store, enticing Noa with the prospect of traditional courtship. It's a whirlwind of charm, romance, and a seemingly perfect weekend getaway. Yet, what Noa encounters next is a macabre revelation that flips her world upside down.

Director Mimi Cave, in her film debut, truly paints with character. The narrative is a buffet of rich, layered characters, each served with a side of depth and complexity. The performances are outstanding, with Edgar-Jones effortlessly embodying the fear, strength, and determination of a woman trapped in a grotesque reality, and Stan masterfully slipping into the role of a man who's more than just a charming exterior.

What sets "Fresh" apart is not just the intriguing storyline but how the narrative layers unfold, leading to a climax that hits you like a punch to the gut. While the premise revolves around a horrifying concept, it is the execution and the buildup that adds a unique flavor to this cinematic dish.

Despite the terror it induces, the film carries an underlying commentary on modern dating and the façade people often put up to hide their true selves. It's a chilling reminder of how little we may know about those we let into our lives. With Cave's masterful storytelling and remarkable performances from the cast, "Fresh" feels like a shocking yet insightful exploration of trust and deception in the digital age.

I wholeheartedly recommend this film to those in search of a bold, fresh take on the horror-thriller genre. "Fresh" has a way of clinging to your thoughts long after the credits roll, just like a haunting melody you can't shake off. Cave's distinctive style adds a new flavor to the genre, leaving us eagerly awaiting her next masterpiece. Trust me, this is one cinematic experience you don't want to sleep on.

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