starring: daisy edgar-jones, sebastian stan, jojo t. gibbs, and Charlotte Le Bon
REVIEWER: lyall carter
The horrors of modern dating seen through one young woman's defiant battle to survive her new boyfriend's unusual appetites.
Since the cultural revolution of the Me Too movement, there has been a very necessary and seismic shift in representation with more stories of women being told in films and television. From Promising Young Woman to Pieces of a Woman and even I Care A Lot, there have been more stories created in the last couple of years by women that show how they really see the world and their place in it. This can only be a really good thing. A goosebumps inducing, heart in your mouth thriller with slashes of bloody horror, Fresh is a thoroughly engrossing tale with a cutting, allegorical critique on modern dating from a woman's perspective.
Fresh follows Noa (Daisy Edgar-Jones), who meets the alluring Steve (Sebastian Stan) at a grocery store and – given her frustration with dating apps – takes a chance and gives him her number. After their first date, Noa is smitten and accepts Steve’s invitation to a romantic weekend getaway. Only to find that her new paramour has been hiding some unusual appetites.
Fresh is definitely a film of two very distinct parts. While this may not work for the vast majority of films, here both halves perfectly serve and complement the other. The story begins in almost rom com fashion - Noa isn’t having any luck on dating apps, meeting one loser after another, and then she meets Steve at the grocery store. Over a series of dates they begin to fall for each other and then the film takes a very sharp turn into something much, much darker.
While the second half of the film slows down a pace it thunders towards its blood drenched, death curdling scream of a climax with such speed that the ferocity of it all will take your breath away.
The verbal and emotional violence that Noa experiences in the first half of the film as she plunges herself into the dating world - the guy who takes her leftovers after making her pay for her meal and then verbally assaulting her when he rejects his advances - is mirrored by the actual violence she endures in the second half of the film. It truly is an eye opening women’s perspective of modern dating and serves as a much needed allegorical critique.
A goosebumps inducing, heart in your mouth thriller with slashes of bloody horror, Fresh is a thoroughly engrossing tale with a cutting, allegorical critique on modern dating from a woman's perspective.