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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.

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