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International Dateline

The Student News Site of Washington International School

International Dateline

The Student News Site of Washington International School

International Dateline

“The Menu”: Haunting Yet Slightly Over Seasoned


“The Menu,” starring Anya Taylor-Joy and Ralph Fiennes, is a 2022 horror and thriller film that provides a new take on the genres by breaking away from clichés and stereotypes and finding new ways to scare the audience. This movie is especially interesting for those who are looking for a scary movie to watch but don’t want to watch an all out horror movie.

“The Menu” follows Margot Mills (Taylor-Joy), who travels with her foodie boyfriend (Nicholas Holt) to dine at an exclusive restaurant owned by famous chef Julian Slowik (Fiennes). They are joined by several other guests, including a celebrity, a food critic, some egotistical businessmen and Slowik’s mother.

Dinner begins and, with each course, Slowik delivers a monologue about the meaning of the dish. Throughout the courses, the meanings turn increasingly sinister and the guests come to horrific realizations.

“The Menu” was released on Nov. 18, 2022 and grossed $79 million worldwide. The film was the directing debut for Mark Mylod and was produced by Will Farrell, Betsy Koch and Adam McKay. Additionally, the film had a budget of $30 million and originally had Emma Stone set to play the role of Mills, but she was replaced with Taylor-Joy due to scheduling conflicts. 

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The film was inspired by Tracy’s experience dining at Cornelius Sjømat, an island restaurant in Norway. While it was not nominated for any Academy Awards, it was nominated for fifty other awards, a few of which were Golden Globes according to IMDB.

Throughout the film, there are amazing performances from Taylor-Joy and Fiennes, especially in the monologue scenes and the confrontation scenes. From others, however, there are moments when I found myself wondering if some actors were making complex character choices or if they were weakly executed, like when Slowik’s staff spoke to the guests with almost robotic voices and flat facial expressions.

Mylod did a phenomenal job of bringing a new dynamic to the horror aspect of the movie by making everything feel just a little too perfect. This causes the audience to feel a little discomfort before the sudden and horrible truth about the restaurant is revealed. 

Nearing the last 15 minutes of the film, the final scene feels anticlimactic in comparison with the buildup throughout, and that is what I think brought the ending of the movie down. As impactful as it was, I think that when the movie reached a close it only somewhat resolved the story, leaving a lot of missed opportunities for more plot development.

Overall, I think that “The Menu” is a very good horror and thriller movie that brings many new aspects of fear, shock, flavor and spice to the table. The film is now available for streaming on Amazon Prime, HBO Max and Apple TV.

By Leo Naftulin

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