March 4, 2022

Modern Horror Continues to Stay “Fresh” (Review)

There are certain movies that are best when you go in completely blind. I managed to do that with classics like Get Out and The Godfather, and they were all the better because of it. Fresh, which premiered at this year’s Sundance Film Festival, is one such film. Immediately beforehand, it was picked up for distribution by Hulu, and I’m glad we’re all able to see it so soon. This isn’t one that deserves to be shuttered and stored for years before an eventual release.

Image courtesy of Hulu

Our lead is Noa (Normal People’s Daisy Edgar-Jones), who’s trying to make it on the dating scene. A supermarket meet-cute leads her to start seeing Steve (Captain America’s Sebastian Stan), who seems almost too good to be true. The relationship doesn’t prove to be what she’s looking for, though…in quite a dangerous way. I’ll just leave it there.

First of all, the two central performers should be enough to sell this movie on their own. Edgar-Jones and Stan are incredible, and seeing as we spend nearly eighty percent of the movie’s runtime with them, they’re appropriately charismatic and both dominate the screen non-aggressively. It helps that they’re immaculately shot in brilliantly edited and extremely purposeful scenes — everyone, in front of and behind the camera, gave it their all, and it definitely shows.

Though filled with expertly-built tension, Fresh is not a fast-paced film. It takes its time, and is all the better for it — it allows for the message to sink in, and really take hold. What does it mean to be part of “the problem”? How does “the problem” affect those not directly involved? Is there such a thing as no direct involvement?

Image courtesy of Hulu

Fresh is a film about modern dating, and is certainly inclined to scare you into thinking one way or another on the subject. Once again, I stress that I knew absolutely nothing going in, and that’s the best way to go about it. Just know that you’re getting some stunningly good performances, a brilliantly-crafted atmosphere, moments of musical bliss, and a show-stopping finale to cap it all off. What more could you want?

Fresh is now streaming on Hulu.

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