While Jill and I agreed on a Free for All for March, it does feel as though we’ve naturally (and typically) veered into horror territory. Some might even say there’s an obvious pattern occurring but I’ll let you look into that one yourselves.

It’s no secret that I think of the horror genre as my comfort blanket so it’s no surprise as the world implodes that I’d want to turn to chainsaw-wielding maniacs, witches, home invaders, demons and all. I don’t think this will ever change even when we’re back on track (if we ever get back on track) but there it is.

I won’t go into a true intro for this film as I suspect it might be better to go into this one blind and just enjoy the ride. Let’s get to it.

“You saved the breast for last…”

Fresh (2022)

The horrors of modern dating seen through one young woman’s defiant battle to survive her new boyfriend’s unusual appetites.

Director: Mimi Cave
Starring: Daisy Edgar-Jones, Sebastian Stan

TW – Violence against women

Noa (Edgar-Jones) is not enjoying her dating life. After a particularly depressing date with a dude lamenting the demise of femininity in modern women, she’s almost done. But a chance meet cute in the grocery store introduces her to Steve (Stan), a smoking hot, funny dude who immediately asks for her number.

Intrigued by the apparent lack of bullshit, Noa acquiesces. The pair quickly bond and things progress romantically to the point he asks her to go away with him after a few dates. So far so perfect, right? Luckily, Noa has a cynical best friend on hand to dispense words of caution. While Mollie (Jojo T. Gibbs) is happy for her friend, she’s also wary given well, the way of the world – and makes Noa promise to stay in touch while she’s away.

On the day of Noa and Steve’s big romantic getaway, he decides they should set off for Cottage Grove the next morning rather than that night. Instead he brings Noa back to his stunning bachelor pad where they enjoy a drink together – Old Fashioneds with a twist, no less. Sadly, in this story at least, all that glitters is not gold – and our girl soon finds herself in the midst of the most bonkers series of events one could possibly imagine.

It’s a bad scene, man – real bad.

I really don’t want to ruin the surprises ahead but if you’ve seen the movie poster you may already have a clue to where this is going. Steve has very specific tastes and a sinister (if pretty fricking ingenious) business racket going on. Unfortunately for Noa, it involves her (and several others) and comes at a price she’s just not willing to pay (also she hasn’t exactly been given the choice).

What follows for our heroine is a final girl story arc to end them all – and she’s not getting out alone. Mollie is close behind, having worked out that something is decidedly amiss about Steve, who appears to be married with kids – WHICH IS THE LEAST OF ANYBODY’S WORRIES, TRUST ME.

While we’re here though, could Mrs Steve (or Brendan) be in on it too? Seriously though, what is her story because if there’s one thing I’ve come out of this with is lots of questions about Steve’s unsuspecting (or not) wifey (Charlotte Le Bon).

I really enjoyed this ride although I already had a good idea of what was coming. It’s a genuinely traumatic situation to find oneself in (I would imagine) but Noa does an excellent job manipulating Steve to her advantage. The film itself looks great, is darkly funny, sad in places and genuinely disgusting.

Let me tell you that the camera adores Daisy Edgar-Jones (most famous so far for her role as Marianne in 2020’s Normal People), and you can’t blame it. She’s so beautiful and has strong screen presence. Her friendship with Mollie is lovely, even if we don’t see them physically together until quite late into the film. The bond Noa makes with another character called Penny (Andrea Bang) later on is also very touching. This is a female film about survival – and possibly also women who don’t look out for other women – and it satisfies.

During the climax it seems to hint that our antagonist Steve might not be the brains behind the operation after all and like I said above, this leaves me with questions for days. I’ll let you draw your own conclusions but I’d recommend this if you’re in the mood for crazy, meaty fun with a side order of gallows humour.

Also, Sebastian Stan is incredibly attractive but it’s a testament to his skills that he turned me off so quickly. I never saw that coming.

– Genres: Comedy ∙ Horror ∙ Thriller
– IMDb user rating: 6.7
– My score: 4/5
– Runtime: 114 mins

What does my wife think of this week’s main course? Would she happily tuck in, or throw it up immediately? Find out here.


One thought on “Fresh review

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