By Amanda Gilmore
FRESH is a delicious Horror film that’s perfectly twisted, fun and well — fresh.
Noa (Daisy Edgar-Jones) is sick of online dating. It’s only led to bland, often repulsive dates. So when she runs into the seemingly enchanting Steve (Sebastian Stan) she takes a chance and gives him her number. What she soon finds out is that behind Steve’s charming grin lays a surprising appetite.
Screenwriter Lauryn Kahn has written a knockout Horror about the risks women face in today’s dating world. Imagine the worst thing that could happen…Kahn takes it to the next level. In doing so, she’s also created a film about the commodification of women’s bodies. The entire concept is dark, however, she brilliantly infuses witty Comedy through dialogue and situations. Thus, allowing the audience moments of levity while swallowing down its feminist message.
Director Mimi Cave builds on this Dark Comedy by adding textual layers and killer retro hits. Cave and Cinematographer Pawel Pogorzelski work together to bring close-up shots that thrust the audience into Noa’s claustrophobia. Further, when it gets to the intoxicating late-second and Third Act the Cinematography dazzles to its zealous finish.
At the forefront is the magnetic, wicked performances from Edgar-Jones and Stan. They share a strong rapport and are radiant together. Edgar-Jones is a force having to balance between desire, terror and survival. Later in the second half, Noa begins putting on a performance of her own. Therefore, causing the talented Edgar-Jones to play a double act, which she excels at. And Stan uses his natural charisma to create a terrifying psychopath hidden within a charming exterior. He is truly great at playing bad.
FRESH screens virtually at Sundance:
Premiere: Jan. 21 at 1:55AM EST
Second Screening: Jan. 23 at 10AM EST (available for 24hrs)