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Fresh (2022)

Thankfully I met my wife pre internet dating as I don't think I would be able to survive the dating rotation scene and nothing cements that more than this film. There are many deceitful people out there utilising the power of social media to project any desired image of themselves across the globe. 'Fresh' not only explores this concept terrifyingly, but twists it in a way that makes you never want to leave your home unaided again. This is a visually stunning film, featuring some of the more interesting cinematography and editing techniques I have seen in a very long time. Being the first feature length release from director Mimi Cave, 'Fresh' shows that she is a director to watch out for. Combining her creative visuals with a fantastic score and clever use of sound design makes for a pleasurable viewing experience, or that is at least until the plot takes a darker turn. That is not to say that all of these qualities are compromised from this point on, but due to the graphic nature of the subject matter this may be a quite difficult watch for some people. I'm not going to talk too much regarding plot points as I feel this is one of those films that is best viewed knowing as little information as possible. What I will say is that the concept isn't that unique but I have never seen it done in such an artistic and thought-provoking way, handling subject matters such as the psychological impacts of Stockholm syndrome and the power of wealth. If I had to criticise this for anything I would sat that the run time felt slightly inflated. At just shy of 2 hours, I feel this could have been condensed by 15 minutes - giving a much tighter overall story. Both leads provide incredible performances. Seeing Sebastian Stan in such a unique role in comparison to his usual work is very captivating. Considering the nature of his role, the level of charisma he displays is wildly entertaining. Having now seen him have such range in a film like this, I'm really hoping he goes on to take on more projects similar to this within the horror genre. Daisy Edgar-Jones who plays Noa is a relatively unknown actress, however based on this performance I think this will be considered her breakout role and that she will go on to achieve great things. There isn't a great deal of gore and violence within this film, other than a few small surgery scenes and a rather violent final fifteen minutes. This isn't necessarily a bad thing as I feel Cave does a much more impactful job with her visual implications than anything that could have been shown onscreen. This film overall reminded me in a lot of ways of Brian Fuller's outstanding Hannibal TV show, not just in premise but in tone and visual creativity. Having the opening credits start rolling at 30 minutes into the film, signifying a complete tonal shift in the film is a perfect example of this. 'Fresh' is one of those films that comes out without little to no warning and runs the risk of flying under the radar for a lot of people. I really hope that isn’t the case as this is currently standing as a strong contender for one of the best horror films of the year for me. I strongly recommend people seek this out just for the directive talent of Mimi Cave and the incredibly performance from Sebastian Stan alone.



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