A stranger named Steve (Sebastian Stan) makes a charmingly awkward impression in the produce department, while Noa (Daisy Edgar-Jones of Normal People) consoles herself with some grocery shopping after another disastrous date. This guy seems different from the usual round of Chads on Tinder, with their rough etiquette and angry pretensions. Even if he is Noa, a mysterious plastic surgeon with a suspicious lack of social media presence, decides to put aside her cynicism about the whole process and give it a try.
Fresh’s first half hour is flat-footed sweet, boy-meets-girl territory, with a sharp inflection: as a kicker, it saves the opening titles for just that moment when things get weird. This coincides with Noa being back at Steve’s house, an architecturally lavish piece of woodland in the middle of nowhere, while realizing she has no phone signal. Her best friend Millie (Jojo T. Gibbs, great) told her to be more careful. Steve, who just drugged her, is far from your average predatory kidnapper and has plans on her body that she never would have guessed in her worst nightmares.
Just opening Sundance’s Midnight series, this distorted horror thriller is at least one attention-grabbing debut from Mimi Cave, best known for her music videos. Describing the trauma that awaits Noa, who has already endured dozens of women at Steve’s scalpel-wielding hands, would not only spoil the film’s gross surprises, but possibly your breakfast as well. Vegetarians are bound to find it quite off-putting, and the film has a chance of converting some viewers in that direction.
As a commentary on how women are fed through the meat grinder process of modern dating and come out with vile stories, it’s invigorating, if hardly on Planet Subtle. The darkly funny tone ties in with Promising Young Woman in many ways, but lays down on a baroque buffet that fans of the TV series Hannibal will devour in equal measure.
As is often the case on this show, we sit down to dinner while the antagonists measure each other up: Noa, chained to her chair for those high-end meals, has a survival strategy that she’s gradually figuring out.
https://www.telegraph.co.uk/films/2022/01/22/fresh-review-daisy-edgar-jones-better-ever-warped-horror-thriller/ Daisy Edgar-Jones is on the table in this warped horror-thriller