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‘Fresh’ – Review

‘Fresh’ – Review


Feeling slightly peckish and craving to quench your horror tastes? Then look no further than Mimi Cave’s inventive and delectably scary new horror movie Fresh, which takes the genre and completely subverts it to tell a chilling story of romance that takes a fiendish turn….and this new watch is sure to unsettle and scratch at the darker edges of your mind.

Spirited young woman Noa (Daisy Edgar-Jones) is unlucky in love and after a seemingly never-ending run of bad dates and creepy men, she’s almost completely given up on love. That is until she meets the handsome, charming and easy-going Steve (Sebastian Stan). Immediately smitten, the two of them instantly fall in love and it’s then that Steve whisks Noa away on a romantic getaway of her dreams. Or so she thinks. Because it turns out Steve has some very ‘unusual appetites’ and he’s hungry for a piece of Noa and very quickly this fairy tale romance turns into a blood-curdling nightmare as Noa desperately tries to escape her new lover’s insatiable hunger for her.

The horror genre finds new room to breathe thanks to director Mimi Cave’s inventive and original new film Fresh which tells a literal tale of a ‘horror romance’ and just when you think you’ve figured Fresh out, Cave throws a left hook right at your face. And damn can she land the punch. Playing with genre and subverting the audience’s expectations at every turn, Fresh is an entirely new and different take on the rom-com meets horror story and there’s plenty to unsettle audiences in this piece of scary cinema expression. As a director, Cave take her time with her story, and lays out the expected before completely pulling the rug out from under the audiences feet. And the results are utterly terrifying. While the less that is said about Fresh’s narrative the better, in order to preserve the surprise, Cave focuses in on themes of co-dependece and the modern dating scene, and all I can say is wait for the twists that are to come.

Stepping up to the role of Noa is English actress Daisy Edgar-Jones and she’s a revelation in the part. Noa is a young woman who is trying to find her way in the world, and Mr. Right, and well the modern dating game of swipe right hasn’t been treating her that well. It’s out of sheer luck that she meets a handsome stranger named Steve (Sebastian Stan). But her blissful romance soon turns dark and it’s here where things get really interesting for Edgar-James. Finding a trusted collaborator in Cave, Edgar-James is really able to let herself go as Noa and for a film like Fresh it’s the only way to play it. This sordid tale of Stockholm-syndrome and a twisted co-dependency has you on edge the whole way through and Edgar-James’ performance only intensifies the haunting sense of foreboding that threaten her at every turn, and her performance as Noa will have you gripping your seat with tension as you watch her play this twisted game of cat and mouse.

As Fresh’s ‘Mr Right’, Sebastian Stan brings a completely 360 performance to bear and plays off of his real-life good-guy reputation to trick the audience. And when he reveals his character’s darker intentions things get gnarly quickly. As Steve, a surgeon who specialises in ‘reconstructive surgery’ he’s every girl’s dreamboat, but he’s secretly harboring a dangerous and evil secret that soon turns nasty. And when he does reveals his true intentions you’ll immediately start freaking the hell out. The key to Stan’s threat in Fresh is the normality that he brings to the character, and his almost non-threatening stance, yes Steve’s an evil prick, but he’s so mellow about everything and his calmness and easy-going smile only adds to the chill that sweeps over the audience. Fresh is another steller film for Stan’s resume and you’ve never seen him like this before, so watch out.

In a cinema landscape where we’ve come to expect the same old kind of horror fare, Fresh is a radically different and especially unsettling kind of horror watch. While there is a good serving of gore, much of the violence and horror of the film is merely implied and shown off-screen, but Cave’s handling of the film’s white-knuckling suspense is sure to drive you crazy and there are plenty of horrifying moments that will make your skin crawl. As a cinematic experience, Fresh is an exercise in sheer dread and its twisted, cooky narrative of a very different kind of love story is sure to keep you on edge the whole way through and this is a very different kind of horror film to experience.

Fresh is a film that brings a pure unexpected piece of horror straight to audiences and it keeps them on a knife’s edge the whole way through. Composed of an incredibly original narrative and two engrossing performances from its lead stars, Fresh is a fiendish little watch and horror fans looking for something different will be well taken care of with this one.

Image; Walt Disney Pictures