Fresh's 10 Biggest Unanswered Questions

Warning! SPOILERS for Fresh.

Mimi Cave's directorial debut Fresh is a shocking reverse rom-com that leaves many questions in its wake. Though the film begins as a cynical but realistic look at today's dating scene, it eventually takes a turn for the horrific when Noa (Daisy Edgar-Jones) is drugged and enchained by her awkwardly cute new love interest, Steve (Sebastian Stan). He reveals that he is planning to sell Noa piece by piece to his wealthy clientele, slowly eating her alive in order to keep the meat "fresh."

With a small but potent cast of characters, Fresh is a deeply disturbing and darkly funny social satire, examining from the ground level what is really a systemic and macro-cultural issue. The commoditization, objectification, and commercialization of women's bodies is something that happens every day on many scales. Fresh uses capitalistic cannibalism as a grotesquely literal metaphor for the ways in which women are taken apart by society and often consumed or commodified for the benefit of men.


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Though this point is largely made through Noa's story and individual perspective, the world that Fresh hints at is vast and complex. After all, Steve is not acting on his own; he is part of a larger society that fuels his business, the members of which seem to be mysterious, well-connected, and obscenely rich. There are many inquiries to be made about how Steve's twisted world functions outside of Noa's trauma. Here are 10 of Fresh's most pressing unanswered questions.

1. How Many Women Has Steve Killed?

MCU actor Sebastian Stan's Steve runs a frighteningly successful operation, indicated by his vast wealth and his large collection of his previous victims' possessions. How long has Steve been doing this, and how many women have died because of it? He mentions having been introduced to the taste of human flesh at a young age, meaning that his business could be anywhere from five to 15 years old. Steve's age is never disclosed, but assuming he is in his mid-30s and began his underground venture in his 20s, dozens to hundreds of women could have perished at his hand. It is unclear how often Steve seeks out new victims, which makes the number even more difficult to estimate.

2. How Did Ann Become Steve's Wife?

When Noa's best friend Mollie (Jojo T. Gibbs) realizes something is amiss and goes searching for answers, she finds that Steve is actually a married man with two kids. Steve's wife, Ann (played by The Walk's Charlotte Le Bon), at first seems unaware of her husband's underground activities. However, her complicity is revealed when she hits Mollie over the head, surrendering her to Steve's designs after she comes too close to figuring out the truth. Ann seems neither reluctant nor enthusiastic about her role in Steve's system and the extent of her involvement is unclear, making her a very ambiguous and enigmatic figure. Fresh's 10 Biggest Unanswered Questions

The question of Ann's background becomes even more intriguing after a shower scene shows her to be missing one of her legs, suggesting that she was once one of the women abducted by Steve. Impressively, Ann must have managed to maneuver her way off of the chopping block and into Steve's confidences - but how did she do it? Fresh establishes that Steve is wont to develop favorites, or women who he fixates on and sympathizes with more than others. Normal People's Daisy Edgar-Jones plays one of these women, and pretending to return his favor is what ultimately helps Noa escape. Perhaps Ann did something similar but was not pretending - or simply never stopped pretending. It's also possible that she became pregnant while in captivity, prompting Steve to spare her for the sake of his two (male) children.

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3. How Many "Favorites" Has Steve Had?

Fresh presents three women who seem to have received special attention from Steve while in captivity: his wife Ann, Noa, and Sami Akbari. The latter is never seen in the film, but Noa finds a note written in the margins of a magazine Steve gives her that says, "If you're reading this it means he likes you. Use it - Sami Akbari." Later, Noa notices the name again in Steve's collection of memorabilia of his victims, implying that Sami did not survive. In contrast to Noa and Sami's experiences, Penny (Kim's Convience's Andrea Bang), another woman being held by Steve in the cell next to Noa's, is clearly not among Steve's chosen favorites. She expresses surprise when Noa says Steve slept with her, as he didn't do the same with Penny. It seems that Steve has a narcissistic and sociopathic habit of attaching degrees of humanity to some of his victims, but not others - though it doesn't seem to stop him from eventually killing them, with Ann being the only known exception.

4. Has Anyone Else Survived Steve's Trap?

Though it's most likely that Sami Akbari died despite her preferential treatment, it may be possible that she or one of Steve's other victims managed to escape at some point during his undisclosed number of years spent harvesting and killing women. However, it is doubtful that Steve would have allowed that to happen, as Noa, Mollie, and Penny had to kill both him and Ann in order to get away in Fresh's epically climactic ending scene. The only reason the remaining trio were able to survive was that they worked together to take Steve down, and unfortunately, it took a very specific set of circumstances to make that happen. Although it's not impossible that someone managed to flee Steve's trap and successfully hide in the face of his vast resources, it is fairly improbable.

5. Why Do Women "Taste Better" Than Men?

When Noa asks if Steve's victims are all women, he apathetically explains that women just "taste better." Is that actually true, or do Steve and his entirely male clientele just get a twisted thrill out of owning and consuming female bodies? The latter seems much more likely, especially given that Steve packages his meals with pictures and items owned by the victims vacuum-sealed within. Fresh shares more than a few thematic similarities with Emerald Fennell's Promising Young Woman, and it takes care to emphasize that Steve's buyers get a greater satisfaction out of their meat when they know it comes from young, attractive women. It isn't about how the women taste - it's about men craving a perverse awareness of their own power over those they find desirable.

6. How Rich Is Steve?

Steve is a plastic surgeon with an obviously lucrative side hustle in the underground human meat market. He has two large houses with incredibly specific and curated interior designs, an expensive car, and the economic flexibility to create an aesthetically pleasing dungeon fitted to his exact purposes in his basement. Exactly how rich is Steve? While monetary figures are never assigned to him in the film, it is safe to say that the answer is: obscenely rich.

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7. How Many Clients And Sellers Are Out There?

If the illicit market for what Sebastian Stan's Steve produces is as big as he claims, then there must be many other people acting as buyers and sellers of human meat. How many are doing the same thing as Steve, luring in women to slowly pick them apart for profit? Depending on the real size of the market - both domestically and internationally - the answer is probably in the hundreds to thousands. While Steve has a finely-tuned method for securing his products, there may be many other sellers who use completely different means to ensnare their victims. There could even be factories of people being utilized for this purpose, and surely not all of them are women. Though Steve provides the highest of high-end service to his clients, there are likely lower tiers to the system he takes part in that is less discriminate about how their meals end up on their plates.

8. Could Steve's Business Exist In Real Life?

Last year's Armie Hammer "cannibal" drama definitely added an uncanny relevance to Fresh's story that makes it somewhat more plausible than it may have been before. There are not many limits on what the uber-wealthy can covet and get away with, especially if they don't have Hammer's fame and media spotlight to draw any suspicion or public interest. While it would be nice to definitively say that a situation like the one presented in Fresh could never happen in real life, it isn't truly possible to know for sure.

9. Does Steve Have Business Partners?

What makes Steve different from many other horror movie serial killers is that he is not acting alone or solely for the sake of his own sick compulsions. He is rather one member of a larger elite, male-dominated society - "the one-percent of the one-percent" - that shares a fervent passion for consuming human meat. A bodyguard/delivery person is seen working for Steve at some point, but beyond that, only his clients are shown on screen. However, it's probable that Steve has other employees and business partners that make what he does possible. If anything, this makes the serial killing of Fresh more perturbing, as it is something that many people have a collective hand in.

10. Will Noa Ever Date Again?

Aside from broader questions about Steve and his world, there is one more pressing issue to address: will Noa be able to trust a man enough to become romantically involved ever again? The likely answer is: no. There are really no examples presented of good men in Fresh, and after Noa's experiences, it is probably not worth the risk trying to find one. However, Noa, Mollie, and Penny are bonded for life after their time in Steve's captivity, creating from a terrible situation an unconventional but strong new family dynamic between the three women.

Next: Fresh: Every Sign That Steve Was A [SPOILER]

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Kylie lives her life training for the day that TV-watching becomes an Olympic sport. Should that happen, she plans to win. In the meantime, Kylie lives in LA and has worked on various television productions. She will continue to do so until someone lets her write and produce her own.