Director: Mark Mylod
Writers: Seth Reiss and Will Tracy
Starring: Ralph Fiennes, Anya Taylor-Joy, Nicholas Hoult, Hong Chau, Janet MeTeer, Judith Light, John Leguizamo,
The Menu has taken a few years to finally reach cinemas. Written by Seth Reiss and Will Tracy, the script was on The Black List (a list of popular unproduced screenplays, based on a survey of executives) in 2019. Since then the cast and director was shuffled around and the film finally started production in late 2021. The film is a horror comedy and something quite unique.
A group of elites travel to a remote island in order to dine at a very expensive and exclusive restaurant run by one of the most renowned chefs in the world Julian Slowik (Ralph Fiennes). As the evening progresses it becomes clear that the menu has been specially selected for those in attendance, and there’s more going on than just a simple dinner.
Ralph Fiennes is absolutely brilliant as the highly regarded chef, Julian Slowik. He’s incredibly sinister and even confesses to being a complete monster at one point. The rest of the characters are all quite an odd bunch. The special meal has been organised and designed for a special guestlist and part of the fun of the film is figuring out why that is. All the way through the story there’s a growing sense of dread, before the penny drops and everything clicks together. You know something bad is going to happen, and once it does it doesn’t disappoint.
The tension is heart stopping, and so well made. Anya Taylor-Joy, who’s excellent as always, plays Margot, the only person who shouldn’t have been at the meal. As she’s invited as a replacement for Tyler’s (Nicholas Hoult) date. It causes a bit of disruption to the staff when she does turn up, since everything has been engineered to a beyond specific degree. Her personality clashes with the rest of the evening, and she doesn’t feel like she belongs with the mega-elite she’s dining with. Because her character is more relatable than the others, it really adds to the nail-biting tension that builds up.
Nicholas Hoult is also really great. His character, Tyler, is obsessed with food and Slowik. He’s so desperate to show off his knowledge about food, as well as gain Slowik’s approval. There’s a lot of comedy that comes from his character and the desperation he has. The rest of the characters are all members of the elite and mega rich. The film is filled with satirical comedy about the priviledge of the character, as well as nature in general.
The Menu is a devious feast, filled with courses of great satire and nail-biting tension. It’s completely original and a great mix of horror and comedy.
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