What I assumed to be a scary movie based on the horrors of dating hipster men named Chad turned out to be close to a masterpiece.
From director Mimi Cave comes one of the first feature films she has directed, “Fresh.” While Cave only has five movie credits to her name, three without pictures on Google, “Fresh” is nothing like a rookie film and is even comparable to hits like “Midsommar” and “Hereditary.”
With all-star leads, Sebastian Stan and Daisy Edgar-Jones, “Fresh” on Hulu has already made quite the name for itself with such little promotion. After Stan’s acting skills were recognized for his other Hulu hit, “Pam & Tommy,” people were hungry for more.
With a retro soundtrack, killer cinematography and a fascinating plot, “Fresh” is certainly the next thriller to put on your to-watch list.
The movie starts with Noa (Edgar-Jones) struggling to survive a painfully awful date with Chad (Brett Dier). After declaring she doesn’t need a man, Noa meets a charming stranger in the grocery store.
Noa gives Steve (Stan) her number after a bit of fumble with his words and smooth skills. Reluctant at first, they hit it off quickly and fall for each other. So much in fact that Noa agrees to go away for the weekend with Steve.
On the first night, Noa begins to feel dizzy and passes out unconscious after she drinks a cocktail Steve prepared for her. After she passes out, the opening credits begin to roll, showing us psychedelic glimpses into what we’re about to witness.
After the opening credits, we finally get to see these two unravel their acting abilities and put on quite a show: Stan as a sociopath with lots of charming qualities and Edgar-Jones as a girl who’s realizing something truly horrific is going to happen.
“Fresh” isn’t just as simple as the plot presents. It’s a lot more psychologically twisted. We see this in how Noa acts throughout the movie and how well Edgar-Jones portrays her. Her screams and tears are haunting.
We start to understand the complexity of Noa and who she is. She’s not just another damsel in distress, she’s a fighter and a clever one.
Steve, as well, radiates complex traits that are confusing to understand. Who you think is a cold-blooded sociopath actually shows a bit of compassion toward Noa after all he puts her through. Steve even reveals he doesn’t know why he is the way he is considering he had a normal childhood filled with lots of friends and love.
There’s more to him and his insanely shocking story. Viewers will be left to do some analysis but in the best way possible.
My personal favorite scene between the two characters and what I believe to be the most enchanting is when Noa and Steve dance to “Le Jardin” by La Femme after a candlelit dinner and a wicked menu. There’s something about this scene that is so mesmerizing to watch, including the fluid movement, song choice and beauty of Steve’s secluded home.
While the film isn’t as grotesque as some other horror flicks, the plot is still as disturbing. That’s a good thing, though. What makes a thriller great isn’t how graphic one can be, but the writing, acting and overall cinematography that define it.
So if you need a reminder to not give your number out to strangers in the grocery store, “Fresh” will surely do the trick.