Dating = Cannibalism?

By Julia Kemp

The 2022 thriller, Fresh, starring renowned actors Sebastian Stan and Daisy Edgar Jones, follows a single woman named Noa who attempts (and fails) to find love through online dating. The movie follows Noa through her tragic yet hilariously awkward dates until she meets a mysterious man in a grocery store. This man, Steve, seems like Noa’s perfect match; he’s funny and charming and unlike any airhead man that Noa has dated in the past. When Steve invites Noa to his cabin, she barely considers the risks, and follows him happily. However, Noa quickly realizes that Steve has different intentions for the relationship; Steve drugs Noa and locks her in a cell. He tells her that he plans to take a small piece of her body at a time to sell to the hundreds of cannibals on the internet. Noa tries to escape, but eventually she realizes that the only way out of Steve’s cabin is to cooperate with him. She says and eats things that she never would in order to escape.

Creepy and unnerving, Fresh serves as an amazing thriller movie that I highly recommend. The chilling performance by Stan and Edgar Jones, paired with cinematography that made me feel sick and disoriented, drew me in and forced me to keep my eyes on the screen—no matter how disgusting the images were. Not only was the thriller incredibly interesting to watch, but also it had a very relatable and meaningful moral. Though being cut and eaten by cannibals online is not relatable, being treated like meat is. Noa’s efforts to survive her horrible fate by succumbing to the image of what men viewed her as (meat) shows how many women of today feel about the dating world and about men’s views toward women. The creators of Fresh incorporate other messages as well. Steve’s wife, who supports his cause, shows a separate fate that women today face. Though she herself was also a victim of his “meat business,” Steve’s wife continued to support him—much like some women who feel pressured to uphold men and their questionable views in order to survive. Overall, Fresh is both a thrilling movie to watch for fun and an insightful societal commentary that I strongly recommend.