'Fresh' continues to keep you intruiged - no matter how much you want to look away.
Watching 'Fresh' on Disney+ will be a real treat for horror fans, while others who have an uneasy stomach might want to give it a miss (or cover their eyes for 50% of the film, up to you).
Daisy Edgar-Jones leads the cast in her first movie role since taking the world by storm as Marianne in 'Normal People'. Here, she plays a young American woman, Noa, who has nearly reached her limit when it comes to dating. From going on bad dates who are casually racist, to receiving unsolicited dick pics upfront on dating apps, she's beginning to lose a bit of hope. However, this all begins to fade away after a chance meet-cute in her local supermarket when she encounters Steve.
Sebastian Stan plays the effortless, handsome and slightly goofy man, offering her to taste something called a cotton-candied grape. Taking a chance, he asks for her phone number and the pair meet at a later date for what seems to be the beginning of a fast-moving relationship. Later confiding in her best friend Mollie (Jojo T. Gibbs) about their one-night stand, the friend becomes concerned when Noa says Steve doesn't have an Instagram account; red flag number one.
When Steve wants to take Noa on a weekend away, this leaves Mollie on high alert. What happens afterwards is... not going to be spoiled.
To fully appreciate 'Fresh', it's a classic case of "the less you know the better". Disney/Hulu have been very smart with their marketing of the film, revealing just enough about the plot to make you wonder what is going on, fuelling your desire to find out what is so twisted about the whole thing.
First-time feature film director Mimi Cave does not shy away from letting the viewer know that something regarding a person's appetite is today's special. From the opening moment we meet Noa, we get a close-up of her mouth, followed by her extremely painful date in a restaurant; she meets Mollie for lunch; she's eating snacks while swiping through her dating app; heck, she meets Steve in a supermarket and eats what he offers her.
Edgar-Jones as Noa doesn't reinvent the wheel, essentially playing a more helpless version of her 'Normal People' character. Having said that, she is very good at keeping the viewer guessing at what her character here is really thinking. Stan, however, really hams up his performance. If you've been loving him as Tommy Lee in 'Pam and Tommy', then get ready for a more deranged, uncomfortable performance here.
The whole thing, to put it plainly, is surreal. 'Fresh' doesn't take itself too seriously, staying on the dark comedy path for the majority of its running time, juxtaposed with some jaw-dropping and genuinely irksome moments. What's unfolding in front of you is truly horrifying, but when there's a cheesy '80s track playing in the background - who cares, right?
Expect to feel queasy many times while watching 'Fresh' - don't say we didn't warn you.
'Fresh' launches on Disney+ on Friday, March 18.