Starring: Daisy Edgar-Jones, Sebastian Stan, Jojo T. Gibbs, Andrea Bang, Dayo Okeniyi, and Charlotte Le Bon
Written by: Lauryn Kahn
Directed by: Mimi Cave
It’s not your fault, Noa. It’s theirs. It’s…always….THEIRS.
The modern dating game receives darkly hilarious and deadly consequences in Fresh, a new horror-comedy from Hulu and Fox Searchlight Pictures.
Noa (the luminous Daisy Edgar-Jones) is tired of swiping. Together with her loving but boisterous best friend, Mollie (Jojo T. Gibbs, who comes dangerously close to stealing the whole movie), she goes on date after date and finds each one lacking. But when a chance encounter with Steve (a fully activated and coyly terrifying Sebastian Stan) sweeps her into a whirlwind romance, she thinks she’s finally found The One.
However, a weekend away with Steve turns into a pitched battle of the sexes. This pits Noa and Steve against one another in a hysterical and steadily building conflict.
While you may have seen the major marketing push by now, I am happy to say the trailers barely even scratch the surface of Fresh’s dark delights. Armed with a consistently hilarious script by comedy writer Lauryn Kahn and a gauzy, indie-movie dreaminess by music video director Mimi Cave, Fresh is never what you expect it to be.
One second, it’s a charming rom-com. Both Edgar-Jones and Stan settle comfortably into a wonderful dynamic early on, fostered and built out even better thanks to Khan’s engaging depiction of the “honeymoon phase” of a young romance. Cave’s direction and staging also nail the pleasant heat of a new relationship. The new couple continues to grow closer through charming vignettes and neat windows into Edgar-Jones and Stan’s instant chemistry.
However, Fresh then transforms into something else entirely.
While I am loathed to spoil, I promise Fresh provides shocks aplenty. Some are more obvious, while others creep quietly. It’s unsettling in the moment but even more chilling at the outset — underscoring Fresh’s commentary with raw, vascular strength and backed by tremendous set design and a thrillingly game cast.
Fresh is a brutally funny and well-staged modern fable about dating, love, and all the gross things in-between. This film is a locally harvested, farm-to-table nightmare! What could be finer?
Fresh is available now. Streaming on Hulu.