Review: FRESH (#Sundance2022)

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Absolutely bonkers in all of the best ways, FRESH is a brutal horror outing that combines psychological thrills with bloody turns to keep you on the edge of your seat. I am not sure that I have ever seen such an insane film before, but it was worth every minute.

Countless false starts thanks to poor dates seem to be in the past when Noa (Daisy Edgar-Jones) meets Steve (Sebastian Stan). After a whirlwind early romance, things take a twisted detour. FRESH is what one would call bats**t crazy. What starts out as an innocent romantic drama soon smacks you in the face with the reality of what you are watching. Stan is incredibly devious and sadistic here, a wildly entertaining turn for him that he knocks out of the park. Edgar-Jones likewise is fantastic in each and every scene. For a directorial debut, this one an allegory for the way women are picked up and discarded by men, Mimi Cave confidently leans in to the crazy with not only a tantalizingly eye-opening thriller, but a finished product better than many horror films in recent memory.

Lauryn Kahn’s script is smart, edgy, and deliberate, combining romance, humor, and gore for one messed up screenplay. FRESH never slows down nor loses focus; it remains impossible to turn away as each moment decreases the viewer’s comfort and heightens their investment. Not much more can be said without spoiling the film, but know that FRESH is one of the biggest surprises of any festival screening I have had, one that I feel disgusted for saying I absolutely loved, not for the film itself, but the utter depravity of the central plot. What a ride! I’ll never date again.

FRESH will debut on Hulu later this year.

Rating: 5/5

Photo from Sundance

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