Online dating has been a miserable experience for Noa (Daisy Edgar-Jones). But just as she’s losing hope of finding a match, she meets Steve (Sebastian Stan) — a grossly charming and charismatic gentleman. Their chemistry is undeniable, and after a short time of dating, the two plan a weekend away, a getaway that spirals into a nightmare for Noa.
Fresh is an outlandish comedy-thriller that exposes the exaggerated horrors of dating in the digital age. It has a unique tone with a story that leaves you fully creeped out, though enjoying every minute of the ride. It balances its dark, satirical humor with a lighthearted romance angle and carries unsettling and unpredictable turns throughout. Backed with a great soundtrack that includes ironic musical cues and ridiculous dance sequences, it’s one fantastical scary movie.
Fresh is streaming on Hulu
No One Gets Out Alive (2021)
Based on a 2014 novel by Adam Nevill, No One Gets Out Alive follows Ambar (Cristina Rodlo), a Mexican immigrant who relocates to Ohio after her mother had become gravely ill. Since she is undocumented, she gets a menial job as a seamstress to save money for a fake ID. She finds a place to stay at an old boarding house for women, where she’s only one of two guests. Not long after she moves in, she begins hearing and seeing strange things and grows suspicious of the padlocked basement. As she tries to settle in and work towards building her new life in America, she’ll face an unknowing evil that could derail her journey.
The film may be a touch predictable, with some odd character choices, but that doesn’t hurt the overall result. With a compassionate lead, you’re drawn into her story and feel a sense of empathy towards everything she goes through — both real and supernatural.
It’s not as striking or frightening as The Ritual, another film adaptation of Nevill’s work, which was slightly disappointing. But it does carry some spooky visuals, even though they’re fairly mild.
No One Gets Out Alive is streaming on Netflix
We Need to Do Something (2021)
Another film based on a piece of literature, We Need to Do Something is a claustrophobic tale of a family of four trapped in a bathroom during a disastrous storm. But after the storm has passed, they’ll realize that something more troubling has happened with terrors outside, as they face their familial demons from within.
I’ll give the film credit for carefully crafting a confined story that they filmed at the height of the pandemic. The plot itself is a cool idea but the execution was an exhaustive experience. It could be horrifying, but with some mediocre performances, that tension is completely diluted. Then there’s the addition of a nonlinear narrative in an attempt to add exposition, but it feels out of place, and the editing tricks to showcase flashbacks are annoying.
It’s very ambiguous, and most frustratingly, in the end. The payoff just isn’t enough for such a slow-burning film. And the reasoning behind what’s happening, the little bits that we do get, just does not work. It’s one of my least favorite films of the year.
We Need to Do Something is streaming on Hulu