The Menu 2022 movie

The Menu – A savory and elegant horror thriller for all tastes

Eating should be an occasion uniting and equalizing people, something both rich and poor do daily with family or friends, but that is not what it means for the table guests in this 2022 movie, The Menu.

From the beginning, we see this series of upper-class men and women who are more arrogant and pretentious as soon as they arrive on the secretive island and personal domain of the world’s most famous chef, Julian Slowik.

However, this does not apply to the beautiful young Margot, who does not feel comfortable amidst that vulgar display of luxury and wealth, yet she only agreed to attend this exclusive dinner to make happy her boyfriend Tyler, an obsessive haute cuisine maniac.

On top of the discomfort of the situation, for Margot, then comes the growing concern that something is terribly wrong with Chef Slowik and his crew, faithful to him bordering on fanaticism.

Dish after dish, the feeling gets progressively worse, while instead, the other diners seem to enjoy this exaggerated attitude as if it were a theater play.

Except when one of the cooks commits suicide over a poorly prepared meal, they realize at that point, for all of them, it’s probably the last dinner they’ll ever eat.

Indeed, Julian Slowik is now fed up with cooking for people who are incapable of appreciating his food’s unique style, just as he is convinced he has reached the highest level in his art and must commit suicide before the decline, along with his entire crew and all his guests.

Even among the guests, however, some lie, such as the business boys who want to take away his restaurant, the culinary critics and their bogus reviews, or Margot herself, who is not at all who she says she is.

We are what we eat or how we eat it?

I admit to being impressed by this 2022 movie; as someone born and raised in Italy, cuisine is one of the most important aspects of the rich menu of our centuries-old culture.

However, I despise nothing as deeply as exclusive, high-priced restaurants, which are often more an ostentation of wealth for those who frequent them than a genuine desire to eat something special you can’t find elsewhere.

Director Mark Mylod changes tone from previous comedies such as “Ali G Indahouse” or “What’s Your Number?” by aiming for a constant thriller tension with small horror tips, although he always maintains a thin line of black humor in every scene.

The script by Seth Reiss and Will Tracy is a whirlwind of humor and madness, starting with stereotypical characters but successfully breathing life and differentiating them with unique personalities.

Because, just as I said before, these wealthy members of the elite (literally) boil in the same cruelty and ignorance as their snobbery, thus leaving the audience free to feel any empathy except solely for Anya Taylor-Joy‘s character.

Indeed, during the killings or in the crazy dialogues, we agree more with the elegant and diabolical Ralph Fiennes rather than with the victims, who are so stupid and selfish that it is a pleasure to watch them go down one after another until the grand finale.

I think that’s why audiences liked this movie much more this time than the critics (not all critics, fortunately) since we can ideally compare the mad chef’s contempt for his guests to the contempt that certain parts of critics have always had for more popular entertainment cinema, for example refusing to take horror and thrillers seriously, even for such supreme masters as Alfred Hitchcock, for example, whom they never wanted to reward with an Oscar.

The perfect ingredients for a horror thriller recipe

Besides adequate direction and writing that manages to shift the focus on multiple reading levels, further embellishing the recipe on the menu of this 2022 movie, we also have a good selection of talented actors and actresses.

Above them all we have the one and only Ralph Fiennes, incredible movie monster and one of my all-time favorites, extremely flexible with his multifaceted acting to play any role.

From the charming cybercriminal of Strange Days to the terrifying Nazi of Schindler’s List, the actor is a good ingredient for any soup, such as still the latest entertaining chapter of The Kingsman Trilogy saga.

Yet, in this case, good old Ralph manages to put on his face, again, in a way we have not seen before, offering an atypical villain with simple methods and geometric precision in group madness and murder.

Equally nuanced is the character of Anya Taylor-Joy, who initially seems like the classic pretty girl/trophy successful boyfriend, Nicholas Hoult, perfectly polished in her gastronomic obsession and perhaps even crazier than Ralph Fiennes.

Still, of course, there is much more to say about her that is not apparent at first glance.

It is no coincidence that the most exciting dialogues are precisely those between Anya and Ralph, who appear to be the opposite extremes in classism between petty-bourgeois and upper-class-aristocrats; if not then bringing both of them much closer together toward the end by uniting these two characters with the simple pleasures of life, such as cooking or eating a cheeseburger.

Finally, I would like to end with a little applause for one of my favorite actors since the 1980s, John Leguizamo, combining cooking and cinema to play an actor, again not surprisingly, sentenced to death for the crime of playing a movie not liked by the chef.

The Menu is a delightful sin that we love to enjoy in light of our own lives, perhaps having a flawed plot and some characters who are more of a side dish, but I certainly have no complaints about a movie that was able to amply satiate my cinematic appetite for thrillers and horror.

The Menu 2022 movie
Amazon Prime Video
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