One of the breakouts from Sundance this year is Fresh, Mimi Cave’s feature film directorial debut about a young woman and her new beau, who has, er, unique tastes. Everyone who has seen this film recommends learning nothing about it, so as to better experience its twists and turns. Some have even compared it to Get Out, attempting to do for toxic masculinity what Get Out did for (white liberal) racism. Watch the trailer at your own risk, I guess, because while the trailer isn’t explicitly saying what’s going on, there are enough hints to get the gist.
Fresh stars Normal People’s Daisy Edgar-Jones as Noa, a woman burnt out on bad dates. When she meets a cute guy the old-fashioned way—at random, in a supermarket, complete with cheesy pick-up line—she decides to go with it, despite some early red flags. Her friend, played by Jonica T. Gibbs—I do hope this movie has better sense than to kill off the Black friend in the year 2022—warns Noa about the lack of presence on Instagram, but I would warn her about the black turtleneck. The only person who should be wearing a black turtleneck is Sterling Archer, everyone else is assumed to be a creep. Good guys don’t wear black turtlenecks.
Besides the black turtleneck, Sebastian Stan is emitting predatory dirtbag energy all over this trailer. He’s best known for playing the forever sad Bucky Barnes in the MCU, but Stan’s best mode as an actor might be “dirtbag”. He’s doing it GREAT in Pam & Tommy right now, and films like Endings, Beginnings, Destroyer, and I, Tonya have leaned into his dirtbag energy to good results. He has the face and the smile of a romantic lead, but he can put something behind his eyes that is pure cretin. He reminds me of Christian Bale, actually, a super handsome dude who is great at playing creeps. So there’s definitely Something Wrong with Stan’s character in Fresh, and while the trailer is all about the meet-cute, it’s also got a lot of quick cuts of horrible things, and Fresh is categorized as a “horror comedy”, and the tagline is “It’s not for everyone”. If you’re a Stan stan but you don’t like scary/gross/graphic movies, this one might not be for you.