Disney’s latest film Fresh has been panned by critics who were stunned by the film’s unexpectedly gory plot – a serial killer cannibal whisking away a victim to carve her up and sell her body parts to rich people to eat.
The movie premiered virtually through the Sundance Film Festival on Thursday and will become available to stream on Hulu, which is owned by Disney, on March 4.
The film was produced by Legendary and was picked up by Searchlight, one of Disney’s subsidiaries.
While some critics are embracing it as an edgy new take on the likes of American Pyscho, others say it’s downright ‘disgusting’ and gratuitously gory.
Some are stunned by Disney departure from family friendly content to an R-rated, blood-and-guts thriller.
The film stars Daisy Edgar-Jones, who played Marianne in the miniseries Normal People, and Sebastian Stan of Captain America.
Fresh stars Daisy Edgar-Jones, who played Marianne in the miniseries Normal People, and Sebastian Stan of Captain America. He is a handsome neurosurgeon who seduces women then takes them to his country house to be cut up and eaten
Edgar-Jones plays Noah, who is sick of online dating apps and meets Steve in the grocery store
Stan’s character Steve plays a handsome and charming neurosurgeon who meets Noah (Edgar-Jones) in the grocery store.
Noah, sick of online dating, jumps at the relationship and after only a few dates, agrees to go to his house in the country.
That is where he carves her up to feed her body parts to his customers, as he has done with other women, some of whom remain imprisoned at the house.
Even Lecter might be repulsed at what goes on here
Deadline critic Pete Hammond
The sickest part is that he not only eats them himself, but sells their limbs and organs as meals to other cannibals for a fee.
The film was praised by some because of its female director, Mimi Cave.
They praised her by eking out themes like consumption of the female body and the horrors of modern dating.
But most couldn’t get past the shocking and unavoidable gore involved.
Deadline critic Pete Hammond quipped: ‘Even Lecter might be repulsed at what goes on here, not just for Steve’s kinky pleasure, but as a business he runs where the customers will clearly set the image of men back a few hundred years.’
‘You’d be forgiven for assuming that a movie co-starring Daisy Edgar-Jones (the star of the sex-scene heavy “Normal People”) and Sebastian Stan (a man who doesn’t own a shirt) would be a hot-blooded romance.
‘But Fresh will more likely make you hurl than send you racing for a cold shower,’ wrote New York Post film critic Johnny Oleksinski.
‘I went into #Fresh without knowing the plot. I thought this was a rom-com about dating a vampire (it said unusual appetite). Baby.
‘This was a mind-f*** of a movie. The less you know the better,’ tweeted a reviewer for the African American Film Critics Association.
Others expressed shock that Disney had taken it on.
‘This is a horror movie that is pretty disgusting, not terribly clever, but one that Disney- yes, Disney– will release this year,’ wrote Showbiz 411’s Roger Friedman.
Reviewer Josh Encinias said he was ‘disturbed’ by the movie albeit in a ‘good way’
‘The less you know the better’ was the observation of this film critic after viewing the movie at Sundance’s virtual festival on Thursday
The pair are shown filming in Vancouver last year. The movie will become available on Hulu on March 4
Edgar-Jones is best known for her role as Marianne in the miniseries Normal People
In the production notes for the film, director Mimi Cave – who until now has been best known for making music videos – said: ‘Some of the bigger themes that I chose to explore in are consumption, commodification of the female body and the power dynamics of love relationships.’
‘There’s a lot of tropes in this film that are there for a reason – and hopefully we’re challenging them. We’re twisting them in a different way,’ she told Variety recently.
Representatives for Searchlight did not immediately respond to requests about the film on Monday morning.
The movie was filmed in Vancouver last year.
Edgar-Jones, in the Variety interview ahead of its debut last week, said: ‘[The film] is sort of exposing this level of fear of threats that we do live with without ever discussing or interrogating.
‘What’s so wonderful is being able to explore that whilst also creating something that is really entertaining. There is a lot of dark humor throughout this script, and I love that.’
Stan, who has also had roles in Gossip Girl, said: ‘Fresh was very complex and sort of surprising. [It] kind of pulls the rug from underneath your feet. As actors, it’s a nice challenge.’
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