Mimi Cave’s thriller film ‘Fresh’ centers around Noa, who starts dating Steve after meeting him inadvertently at a supermarket. Noa’s life takes a horrifying turn when she accepts to go for a trip with Steve to a tourist destination named Cottage Grove. Rather than to the Grove, Steve takes Noa to his house, only to reveal the darkest secret about him. The startling-yet-engrossing film progresses through the developments in Steve and Noa’s lives, as the latter tries to escape from the horrors she encounters. As the film astounds the viewers, one must be wondering whether the appalling events that unravel in Noa and Steve’s lives have real-life origins. Let’s find out!
Is Fresh a True Story?
No, ‘Fresh’ is not based on a true story. According to the screenwriter of the film Lauryn Kahn, the screenplay was conceived based on a desire to write a horror film, with elements of comedy, that depicts “the subconscious way women operate in the world that men don’t know about.” Through the character of Noa, director Mimi Cave and Kahn explore the hardships and insecurities women confront in the modern day. “[The film] is sort of exposing this level of fear of threats that we do live with without ever discussing or interrogating,” Daisy Edgar-Jones, who portrays Noa, joined Kahn to explain the essence of the film.
Even though the petrifying events that unfold in the film are fictional, Noa’s struggles are deeply rooted in reality, specifically in the context of modern dating. Cave and Kahn use familiar cinematic tropes to convey the depth and horrors of the same. “[Fresh] is really kind of a classic boy meets girl thriller, with a twist and it comments on the perils of contemporary dating,” said Cave to Deadline. The atrocities and dangers women face while dating and using dating apps are effectively portrayed in the film.
‘Fresh’ also depicts the disturbing gravity of the commodification of women’s bodies, possibly in the most gut-wrenching way. Steve and his customers’ cannibalistic obsession with women forces the viewers to ponder over the power dynamics between men and women. Through Steve, a highly masculine figure who deceives, hunts, and kills women as a predator, Cave and Kahn expose the predatory dimension of masculinity impeccably. The film offers such a portrayal of gender dynamics through several details, including Steve’s dietary preferences.
Cave’s film also explores the nuances of female friendships incredibly. “I would also consider it [‘Fresh’] a film about female friendships and a sort of strange coming of age movie,” said the director to Deadline. “This film is so many things, but you could argue that it’s sort of a buddy film. Their friendship is so incredible and it’s really Mollie’s strength that helps Noa to overcome what she does,” added Edgar-Jones in the same interview. Mollie fills the absences in Noa’s life and stands beside her irrespective of her concerns. When Noa gets into life-threatening troubles, she finds solace in another woman named Penny as well.
‘Fresh’ is an enthralling film that succeeds in terrifying the viewers with its frightful interpretation of reality. The film, within its brilliantly conceived fictional horror framework, depicts the reality women faces in today’s world brutally honest.
Read More: Where Was Fresh Filmed?