“Fresh”: movie review

A review of the 2022 movie “Fresh” based mainly around the perspective of character


Screenshot of “Fresh” banner on Hulu.

by Talor Avery, Reporter

On March 4th, 2022, Hulu dropped the new horror/thriller film “Fresh” directed by Mimi Cave. Starring big names such as, Sebastain Stan [as Steve] and Daisy Edgar Jones [as Noa], the movie takes its own twist on the horrors people in the online dating scene risk daily.

We’re introduced to Noa [Daisy Edgar Jones] as she meets a charming and alluring man named Steve [Sebastiain Stan] in a grocery store. Due to her past inconveniences with dating apps, she accepts Steve’s offer for a date. Over an extremely short period of time, Noa is smitten over Steve and expresses her feelings about him to her best friend, Mollie [Jojo T. Gibbs]. Steve invites Noa on a private getaway and she gladly accepts. Hearing about her friend going away with a man she just met, Mollie is worried and soon investigates Steve and who he really is. Once Noa leaves with Steve, things take a turn for the very worst.

This movie was quite the ride. It was predictable to the very end but it worked fine for a satisfactory storyline. The pacing was fine for what it needed to be, scenes were the right speed to carry out their needed essence of suspense and adrenaline. The viewers were able to gather the sense of how each main character’s personality functioned. We saw Noa’s gullibleness and her strength. We saw Steve’s alluring tactics turn out to be manipulation for the purpose of trapping others. As much time as we got with the characters, there wasn’t enough of the right content to really make me care about them as if they were real people. As they moved along the screen, it felt as if I was watching the shell of real people. I didn’t get an understanding of who they were deep down and what made them their own person and that took about the feeling of becoming close enough to a character that’d I’d want the best for them.

It didn’t feel as if there was a sense of character development, which most likely also had a lot to do with not feeling connected to the characters. We never get evidence of Noa, Steve, or Molly changing as characters, we only see what they do in moments of desperation and fear. With this in mind, it really ties into how “Fresh” feels like a movie meant to tell the story of human trafficking and not the story of a women who is confronted with human trafficking. They present these disposable characters and it leaves no feeling for the viewer after the credits roll. The roles of each character could be switched and there would be no uproar or problem because their personalities are so consistently basic without providing any form of growth to differentiate themselves from their prior selves.

Characters within this movie make unwise decisions that also take away from any credibility their personalities could have. Noa is gullible enough to go spend a secluded weekend with a man she’s known for about a day. Mollie also makes some… interesting decisions that lead to the worst. Even Steve commits some naive acts that frustrated me as a viewer. All of these mistakes they’ve made could be argued as a quirk of their character. For example, Noa has had a lot of struggles with online dating, so to see the perfect man who is equally interested in her as she is in him, of course she would go for him. Though, for her to put so much trust in a man she hasn’t even known for a week is completely mind boggling. These “quirks” aren’t charming to their character, they’re just put in place to move the story along. They’re the easy way out. As someone who loves to fixate on a character’s personality and strengths, quirks, and weaknesses[and practically everything that makes them special], it’s pretty disappointing to watch a thriller and not care if a character will make it alive or not.

Overall, the main problem I have with “Fresh” is its characters. They’re hard to care for and hard to remember. It’s pretty difficult to get through a movie with boring characters. The production and the direction of the movie were great and appealing. For the aspect of horror, it would align with the horrors of what a person could face on the online dating scene. For the aspects of a thriller movie, the movie does well as it’s exciting and filled with crime. I personally enjoyed the movie and recommend it to anyone who is interested in topics of the deep web, issues of trafficking, independent strong women tropes, and horrors dealing with dating.