Posted in Regular Feature, The Movies, The Pink Panther Snipes Again

The Menu review

We’re back after a lovely December hiatus with Awards films (or those that could find themselves nominated this coming awards season). Whether this tasty black comedy actually finds itself in receipt of a statuette remains to be seen but it should be praised – not only for Anya’s ethereal central performance but for the reasons I’ll outline poorly below.

Apart from being back on the Collab films, January has started in much the same way as it always does: without much fanfare. I’ve allowed myself to get caught up in the “New Year, New Me” brigade’s grand statements of bucking against nature to become more creative, successful and beautiful than ever before – and then wondering why I’m such a failure because I haven’t achieved it all by the 09 January.

Anyway, whatever happens, here I’ll be alongside Jill, making snarky comments about bad movies and underselling good ones on the blog. Even if I do suddenly sort out my life and become super busy and important.

The Menu

Directed by: Mark Mylod
United States, 2022
Horror, thriller, comedy
Runtime: 107 minutes


A young couple travels to a remote island to eat at an exclusive restaurant where the chef has prepared a lavish menu, with some shocking surprises.


Margot Mills (Taylor-Joy) and her date Tyler (Hoult) travel by boat to Hawthorn, a super exclusive, uber-boujie restaurant owned and run by celebrity chef Julian Slowik (Fiennes). They’re joined by a rag tag bunch of elite guests, including a food critic, a wealthy older couple, a very much past his sell by date Hollywood actor and his plus one, business partners (and douche canoes) Soren, Dave and Bryce – and Julian’s own mother.

On arrival, the group are given a tour of the private island that houses Hawthorn by restaurant maître d’hôtel, Elsa, who notes that Margot was not Tyler’s original date for the evening. No matter though, she’s here now and seems happy to tolerate his utter pretentiousness when it comes to all things culinary, which is almost endearing.

Dinner begins and becomes increasingly unhinged (and deadly) with every course. Each dish is introduced by Chef himself – breadless dipping bread, rocks and foam – but it soon becomes clear that there are secrets to be spilled in abundance too – and none of our diners are safe. Not even Margot – who wasn’t supposed to be there!

As Chef publicly leaks the deets on infidelities, embezzlement and lies – and people begin to try and escape – with mixed results – he becomes perturbed by Margot’s presence, which seems to have thrown his entire plan for the night off kilter. Furthermore, he manages to get under the skin of why she’s there that night – and asks her to choose a side. Will she fulfil her destiny as a giver (AKA one of ‘them’), or finish the night as a taker (AKA one of the privileged guests)?

Margot appears to be a survivalist caught in the wrong place at the wrong time so perhaps she’ll find her way out of hot water – but how and why is all this happening?

It’s so hard to talk about this film without giving away details, which I really didn’t want to do. I went in with little expectation or inkling of where it would go, and I think that’s probably the best way to enjoy it.

The humour is dark and the commentary is sharp, as Chef Julian outlines his reasons for causing utter destruction. Some justifications are fair – the mean career-destroying food critic for example, who may not deserve death, should be forced to understand the consequences of her actions – but others don’t seem so understandable. But I guess we’re here for the drama and there’s plenty of performance to be consumed, especially as almost every guest is the absolute worst.

As always, Anya Taylor-Joy is mesmerising and Margot runs rings around Chef. Her partner in fine dining, Nicholas Hoult also does a good job of making Tyler sympathetic, despite his appalling behaviour and unappealing desperation.

In terms of structure, I very much enjoy how each portion is labeled and the tension amps up accordingly. The gore isn’t overcooked but maybe it could’ve gone even further. I personally can’t find much to dislike here. The tone is exactly what I like, blending observational humour with horror and it all looks delicious.

Honestly, this type of experience is my worst nightmare. Give me pub grub any day of the week.

My rating


What did Jill think of The Menu? Is she ready for the dessert menu or would she prefer the bill? Find out here.

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40-something shark movie enthusiast and horror fan.

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