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Well, this us unlike anything I’ve ever seen before, that’s for damn sure! If you’re an individual who complains about Hollywood not having any new ideas then this film is just for you. The storyline at the center of Fresh is one that could be exploited and used to make a disgusting torture porn flick. Thank goodness this film doesn’t go that misguided route. Instead, they created a very well constructed horror film that is very creepy without going to the extreme with carnage. Both the script and the talented cast work in unison to make this really soar.
I feel that I must begin with heaping due praise upon both Sebastian Stan and Daisy Edgar-Jones. Both of these actors are so talented and play their roles with a great amount of skill. Stan is an actor I’ve liked in many other films prior to this but wow he really goes all out in this. He’s a good fit for this role because of his rugged handsomeness and slick charm. It’s totally believable that he would be the type of man to lure unsuspecting women. He’s also able to use that slick charm of his in order to make himself extra creepy. He makes you so uneasy just with one of his devilish facial expressions.
And Daisy Edgar-Jones holds her own beautifully opposite him. She is so likable and you feel almost an instant gut feeling to root for her from the get go. She comes across as just an average girl struggling with things all of us in our 20’s struggle with. She handles the range that this roller coaster of a film requires very well. I hope to see her in a lot more upcoming projects!
And her and Stan have very effective onscreen chemistry too. And I cannot forget to praise Jojo T. Gibbs! I don’t think I’ve seen her in anything before this but I was very impressed by her. She is, like Edgar-Jones, very likable. Gibbs is also very funny and has some killer comedic moments.
The cast is able to really soar because they’ve been handed a well crafted script that provides them with a lot of “fresh” material. First of all, this film understands that there must be a decent first act that sets the stage. You can tell pretty much right away that this is an intelligent horror flick that is interested in far more than blood and guts. The films title and “opening” credits actually don’t even come across the screen until about half an hour in when things start to heat up. I really appreciate that they decided to take their time and give us a twenty five to thirty minute opening that’s focused on both character development and setting a certain tone.
By the time we meet Stan’s character we already have a decent idea of who Edgar-Jones’s character is. There’s a well timed pacing to the events that unfold too. Things don’t feel rushed or too slow. And yes there is plenty of suspense and an abundance of thrills believe me! Much to my delight, as I said before, the majority of those thrills are not a result of extreme gore. The suspense and creep factor comes from the haunting dialogue, environmental factors, and the sheer force of Stan’s performance.
I am someone that gets very into films like this and wants very much to see justice be served and while I won’t say how this comes about, there is a sense of justice in the third act. Sometimes it can be clever/interesting to turn justice on its head and change it up in a wild horror film, but sometimes it’s best to not allow the bad guys to win. I really liked the clever way the writers let the third act unfold. There’s a sneakiness to what goes on and I thought that was very smart.
Fresh is a well constructed horror film that deserves to be seen and appreciated. Yes, the subject matter is yucky but luckily this film doesn’t revel in torture porn style violence. This horror tale is far too sophisticated for that.
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