REVIEW: “Fresh” gives a new take on the cannibal horror genre

Nowadays, it is hard to find a horror movie that isn’t exactly like the hundreds of horror movies you have already seen.  Familiar tropes and plot lines are used over and over again. 

 “Fresh”, starring Daisy Edgar Jones as main-character Noa, dives into the horrors of the online-dating world and one of the many potential dangers: matching with a cannibal.  

The movie opens with Noa on a date with yet another loser, who reminds her to bring cash beforehand to pay and says all of the worst things that can come up on a first date. He makes comments about how she does not meet the femininity of his parents’ generation, takes all of the leftovers, and even calls her a nasty name after she refuses to kiss him.

When Steve, played by Sebastian Stan, meets Noa in the grocery store, it is almost easy to understand why she so easily agrees to have a weekend away with this mysterious stranger who has no social media accounts due to his charming personality.  What could go wrong?

Noa’s best friend, Mollie who is played by Jonica T. Gibbs, is suspicious of Steve as soon as she learns that he doesn’t have social media.  She grows more and more concerned for her friend the longer that she is away and ends up being captured by Steve herself in her attempts to find her friend.

Soon, Noa realizes that she made the worst decision of her life when she wakes up chained in a room.  The horror only grows when she learns that Steve is a cannibal, who attracts girls to his house only to collect their “processed female meat” for his rich clientele with similar tastes.

Noa is different from the other girls though, because she slept with Steve on their first date.  Noa uses Steve’s interest in her to stay alive and take his guard down to escape.  

She does not escape unscathed unfortunately, due to Steve deciding to perform a procedure to sell her butt “meat” to his customers.  Thankfully, it does not show the procedure or the aftermath, with Noa wearing a loose fitting dress throughout the movie.  

The movie manages to portray the horror of the cannibalism in the meals that Steve and Noa eat without showing the process of “cutting off” the meat, providing just enough horror without being too horrifying.

While this movie includes dark material that definitely grossed me out more than a few times, the movie has a lighthearted tone that allows for laughter throughout the movie.  The movie kept my attention, and managed to keep me on the edge of my seat worrying about the fate of Noa, her friend Mollie, and the other female prisoner that talks to Noa through the vents.

Daisy Edgar Jones’ acting makes it hard to tell if her character is pretending to like Steve and cannibalism in order to escape, or if she is actually becoming interested in the diet.  She eats the “meat” right along with Steve, until she gains her moment to attack and bites off one of his most precious body parts, a very satisfying scene after he takes away her butt.

All-in-all, “Fresh” is an enjoyable movie for those who can stomach the subject matter.  It doesn’t take itself too seriously and provides a new take on the horrors of online dating.  The movie creates its own plot unlike many in the genre, while still including classic horror movie tropes that we all love.