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Fresh: Feast of Fury & Fear
Starring Daisy Edgar-Jones , Sebastian Stan
Directed by Mimi Cave
Rating: ** ½
Meat Steve, our heroine Noa’s latest date.
And I do mean ‘meat’. You see, unbeknown to Noa, Steve is into human flesh. No it’s not a kink, it’s his bigtime entrepreneurial passion.Yes he is a cannibal who supplies human meat to the cannibalistic connosieurs all over the world.
Noa who is into online dating(warning to the young girls out there who are looking for loving-tinder-care out dare) meets Steve at the supermarket, ironically at the vegetable counter because as Steve grandly confesses he “doesn’t eat animals” which is technically not incorrect.
After the cute-meat the pair is soon seen taking a torrid tumble in the sack and then, aha, Steve dreamily suggests a weekend holiday in the wilderness.
Here is where this savage horror-comedy(actually the humour is lost in the gore-fest) loses its way: that a strong selfmade intelligent girl , played by the beautiful and bright Daisy Edgar-Jones(of Normal People fame,and how much abnormal can it get) could fall for a man without checking his identity or his social profile(he doesn’t have one) is as had to swallow as Steve’s cuisine for those who are not into human flesh.
In the way Sebastian Stan plays the cannibal entrepreneur , singing and dancing his way to the sizzling over,I was reminded of Armie Hammer…I mean, imagine if those scandalous text messages were actually a prelude to something far more sinister, far more culinary.
But oops, I am straying: something that Fresh never does. It is razor-sharp scalpel-precise in its narrative focus,adhering to Noa’s survivalist drama as closely as Steve’s scalpel on human female skin(always female , never male: Steve says we don’t taste that good).First-time director Mimi Cave has a lot of fun with her feast-friendly hero’s ravenous appetite.
But the horror of a regular workingclass woman trapped in a scream-proof house with a suave psychopath never attains the chilling ferocity of Cate Shortland’s Berlin Syndrome.
While the set-up for the captivity is a luscious mix of chilling and comic, the second movement of the plot where Noa outwits her captor is messy and predictable.And dipped unnecessarily stylized violence.
Though horrific in its exposition of human flesh as gourmet Fresh fails to fuel the fear factor with any durable artistic integrity, cinematic otherwise.It’s all done in the spirit of fearful fun. If you want to see a genuinely disturbing film about cannibalism then try the Assamese Aamis.
Until we meat again.