The Horror-Verse: Hulu’s “Fresh” is grotesquely magnificent


Graphic by Shehzil Imran and Maya Imran

Hulu’s “Fresh” includes a variety of sinister themes and disturbing, often uncomfortable scenes, making this attention-grabbing movie the perfect watch for horror fans wanting something new.

“Fresh” opens with tired and frustrated Noa (Daisy Edgar-Jones) on another one of her many torturous and time-wasting dates with a guy she met online, Chad (Brett Dier), who can not seem to care about anything besides himself. Though confident and assertive in the fact that she does not need a man in her life, Noa still craves that feeling of comfort and acceptance, which causes her to give Steve (Sebastian Stan), a seemingly sweet man she met in a grocery store, a chance. And though everyone has their respective quirks, Noa never would have guessed it was Steve’s abnormal appetite that made him more unusual than she could have anticipated.

I don’t usually enjoy abduction movies because they often feel overdone and cliche. However, I get intrigued by horror films with more intense themes like cannibalism since there is always more potential for a director to make it a one-of-a-kind and memorable movie. With that being said, I discovered “Fresh” through it trending on Tik Tok, which immediately lowered my expectations due to past negative experiences with horror movie recommendations from the app. Surprisingly, I am pleased to report that “Fresh” proved me wrong in every way possible.

From the moment Noa is left alone in her cell after being held hostage, we are introduced to two other women in neighboring rooms, who are clearly growing out-of-touch with reality and progressing to a deeper sense of hopelessness as their time being held in cells lengthens. This emotional depth adds a layer of eeriness as we hear these womens’ commentary throughout the movie, whether it be what they feel they are missing out on or what Steve has done to them and others. 

When watching horror movies, I struggle with fully connecting with the film and its characters. However, with “Fresh,” watching Steve casually grab a chunk of meat from the fridge and cook it for a meal felt so grotesquely real that it was almost difficult for me to stomach. It definitely did not help when he happily ate it with no remorse and went on to tell Noa who the meat was from and describe how exquisite it tasted. In addition, seeing Noa go to any means necessary to survive – and I do mean any means – often left me with wide eyes and a face twisted simultaneously with aversion and shock. It was honestly amazing to watch the extreme lengths she went to and I loved how different it felt than the usual horror movies I tend to stumble upon.

“Fresh” is the perfect movie for those horror fans who struggle to find something that makes their stomach churn and want a movie that will leave them feeling unsettled. It definitely left me feeling disgusted and unwilling to eat any meat the rest of that day, especially because my aunt made burgers a few hours later.