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One of the best thrillers of the decade
Quick Thoughts - From the impressive directorial debut of Mimi Cave to the charmingly innocent performance of Daisy Edgar Jones, Fresh is a masterclass in showing tension and conflict on screen. In a genre that is very hit or miss, Fresh stands out as a first rate thriller.
What went right:
The direction by Mimi Cave - The real charm of Mimi’s direction in Fresh is how the film is both absolutely chilling and a lot of fun at the exact same time, which is a super tough combination to pull off. Excited to see what she does going forward.
The music - multiple times throughout the film you will find yourself entranced in the story because of the needle drops at pivotal moments. For those (like myself) that can’t get the songs out of your head, some lovely human made a Spotify playlist
The chemistry between Daisy Edgar Jones and Sebastian Stan - this is what made the movie so remarkable. From the second they meet on screen, there is a spark between the two of them that doesn’t wane, even when the circumstances of the film would make you think that it should. Their romantic chemistry in the first act is impressive, but the tension between them throughout the rest of the film is where they really shine. Sign me up for a full movie of them falling in love.
Performance by Daisy Edgar Jones - Not enough can be said about how great Daisy is in this movie. She had to portray a wide range of emotions throughout the film, and she nails every one of them. In the first act we see her charming, seductive, and unassuming portrayal of Noa. In act two she is portraying a terrified and frustrated Noa and in act three she is portraying an angry and vengeful Noa. We knew she could do the act one performance since it isn’t all that different from her character on Normal People, but the final two acts went a long way in showcasing her range as an actress. As the stakes heighten throughout the movie, Daisy’s portrayal perfectly match the rising intensity. If you don’t know her name by now, get used to hearing it. Between the Normal People series, this film, and Where the Crawdads Sing later this summer - she is rightfully taking the world by storm. This performance solidifies she has to be included on any best actress under 25 list.
Performance by Sebastian Stan - This was a great showcase role for Sebastian to really highlight his range as an actor. It was clear from the get go that he spent a lot of time studying these types of characters and it truly pays off in a performance that can only be described as psychotic. Between this and the recent release of Pam and Tommy, I love that he is really swinging for the fences with the characters that he is portraying on screen.
What went wrong:
The ending is a little underwhelming, but that tends to be the case when the rest of the film is so solid.
Felt a little drawn out and gimmicky in the middle
Rating - 91/100
Best Performance - Daisy Edgar Jones as Noa
Honorable Mention - Sebastian Stan as Steve
Will I watch again - 100% yes.
Would I recommend - Hard recommend. I would classify this as a thriller and not a horror film, so don’t let it being marketed as a semi-horror film keep you from seeing it. Although, if you are a single lady (or married) that is naturally terrified of the world and bad things happening to you, you should probably steer clear of this one.
Final Takeaways - Overall, Fresh is a really fun take on the horrors of modern dating with quite a few twists and turns along the way. I do wish that this movie would have gotten a theatrical release, but since it is on Hulu you have no excuse to not check it out. When done right, thrillers can be one of the most enjoyable genre of movie to watch, and Fresh is no exception. This is one of those movies that I will forever wish that I could watch again for the first time, so really soak in that first watch.