Delicious Horror: Mimi Cave's Fresh

Image Credit: Pixabay

Games Editor Liam Ferguson reviews Mimi Cave’s debut feature fresh, a love story with a flesh-eating twist – starring Daisy Edgar Jones and Sebastian Stan.

Fresh is exactly what the film’s title suggests it is, a fresh take on the horror genre. Director Mimi Cave makes her debut with the movie starring Normal People’s Daisy Edgar-Jones and Marvel’s Sebastian Stan in a tantalisingly stylish thriller. It is one of the best films of 2022 so far and utilises a mix of dark humour, stunning visuals, a killer soundtrack, and excellent writing to great effect. 

It is difficult to discuss the plot of Fresh without spoiling it, but the thriller does an excellent job at subverting expectations from the get-go. It is not until almost 40 minutes into the film that the actual plot becomes clear as the title card hits the screen, after an excellent first act that subtly sets the tone. To keep it vague, there are genre-hops and twists throughout to keep the audience guessing thanks to Lauryn Kahn’s airtight screenplay. The relationship at the core of the movie between Edgar-Jones’s lovestruck Noa and Stan’s Hannibal Lector type, Steve, is written astonishingly well and leads to a gripping narrative. 

Cave cements herself as an up-and-coming horror director to keep an eye on with how the film is presented. The set design and colour palate are mesmerising, with a clear attention to detail placed on every background object to display the personality of every character’s setting and match the relevant scene’s tone.

The fantastic script is brought to life by the performances present. Edgar-Jones is an extremely likeable and plucky protagonist in the role of Noa and delivers a layered, emotional act. Stan is at his most charismatic yet in the role of Steve, showcasing his range as an actor throughout the film with a terrifyingly charming attitude and energetic physicality. The chemistry between the pair is similarly flawless, each scene they have together is electrifying, and the two actors have turned in career-best performances. It is also worth noting that JoJo T. Gibbs of Twenties fame carries the movie’s detective-like B plot very well with a fierce portrayal of Mollie, Noa’s best friend. 

Cave cements herself as an up-and-coming horror director to keep an eye on with how the film is presented. The set design and colour palette are mesmerising, with a clear attention to detail placed on every background object to display the personality of every character’s setting and match the relevant scene’s tone. Midsommar’s Pawel Pogorzelski brings his signature style of cinematography to this film in order to help every setting pop out as beautifully as possible, whether it be vibrant dance sequences or bone-chilling moments of horror.

Fresh is a fun and unforgettable ride that will leave you with a soundtrack on loop for weeks. It is as fun as it is horrifying, as gory as it is endearing, and as funny as it is dreary.

The movie’s soundtrack is phenomenal. Alex Somers’ score is as chilling as it is captivating and is melded with licensed music from Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Animotion, and Blood Orange among other rock and pop hits. The music consistently captures the mood of any given scene with each facet of it being employed within the right moments. 

Fresh is a fun and unforgettable ride that will leave you with a soundtrack on loop for weeks. It is as enjoyable as it is horrifying, as gory as it is endearing, and as funny as it is dreary. It's only flaw may be a few brief instances of shoddy editing that are very simple to overlook. For anyone looking for a thriller with lots of meat on its bones to chew on, it is an easy recommendation.