Sebastian Stan and Daisy Edgar-Jones sitting at a table in Fresh
image: Sundance Institute

‘Fresh’ Is a Deliciously Terrifying Look Into, Uh … Dating?

4.5/5 dinner plates.

If you want to be terrified of meeting someone to date in real life as well as being terrified of online dating, Fresh is definitely the movie for you. It’s also a pretty spectacular new horror comedy that should have audiences excited. With a similar tone to films like Jennifer’s Body, the Mimi Cave-directed Fresh keeps audiences on the edge of their seats while also forcing them to watch the horrors unfold through their sweatshirt hood—or that was at least my experience.

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The film stars Daisy Edgar-Jones as Noa, a woman trying to find a meaningful relationship in the digital age. But when she has a chance encounter with Steve (Sebastian Stan) at her grocery store, she seems to have lucked into the kind of relationship she’d been waiting for. But not everything is as it seems, especially when Noa’s friend Mollie (played by Jojo T. Gibbs) points out how weird it is that Steve has no social media. It’s 2022. Yes, that is weird.

But the film has a twist about 30 minutes in (slight spoilers on that ahead) that truly has shocked audiences since its release at Sundance, and while it became very obvious what happens, it was still a worthwhile watch. Written by Lauryn Kahn, the film is a testament to not judging a book by its cover because the result could be … dire. Quite literally.

Take a bite

Steve is a cannibal who captures and murders women to sell their “meat” to his buyers. That’s the basic rundown of this film, and while I did, as I said before, watch the movie through my sweatshirt hood, I wasn’t completely grossed about by the gore of the movie. Cave did a pretty good job of giving audiences the eery feeling that accompanies something of this nature while still making the film palatable to audiences. (Yes, those words were chosen for a reason.) Steve also collects their belongings in shrines that reminded me of Helga’s shrine to Arnold in Hey Arnold, just if Helga went full murder bot.

And while this movie could have instantly been a horror story about dating and what can happen to women (and it was, to an extent), Cave and Kahn also do a good job of giving the movie back to the women put in harm’s way by Steve. It isn’t just another entry in the large history of films where women are murdered by charming men and we, as the audience, have to just leave with that on our hearts. Instead, it gives Noa her own agency in her capture by Steve and her connection to another of his victims through the wall.

Yes, I was grossed out, but also, he’s a cannibal. I think that’s fine. But just when you think you know what’s about to happen, something else comes to derail what you originally had in mind, and Fresh will constantly keep you on your toes. Watching Sebastian Stan eating a piece of meat while smirking will now forever be one of the most horrifying images in film to me.

Fresh is streaming on Hulu now.

(image: Courtesy of Sundance Institute)


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Rachel Leishman
Rachel Leishman (She/Her) is an Assistant Editor at the Mary Sue. She's been a writer professionally since 2016 but was always obsessed with movies and television and writing about them growing up. A lover of Spider-Man and Wanda Maximoff's biggest defender, she has interests in all things nerdy and a cat named Benjamin Wyatt the cat. If you want to talk classic rock music or all things Harrison Ford, she's your girl but her interests span far and wide. Yes, she knows she looks like Florence Pugh. She has multiple podcasts, normally has opinions on any bit of pop culture, and can tell you can actors entire filmography off the top of her head. Her work at the Mary Sue often includes Star Wars, Marvel, DC, movie reviews, and interviews.