Is The Menu worth watching? (Skip or Watch)

Ralph Fiennes and Anya Taylor-Joy in the film THE MENU. Photo by Eric Zachanowich. Courtesy of Searchlight Pictures. © 2022 20th Century Studios All Rights Reserved
Ralph Fiennes and Anya Taylor-Joy in the film THE MENU. Photo by Eric Zachanowich. Courtesy of Searchlight Pictures. © 2022 20th Century Studios All Rights Reserved /

Who’s hungry for a new movie? It’s mid-November and The Menu is one of latest releases that’s hit theaters nationwide.

The dark comedy thriller horror had its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival on Sept. 10. The movie was written by comedy writers Seth Reiss (Late Night with Seth Meyers) and Will Tracy (Succession) and produced by Hyperobject Industries (Adam McKay and Betsy Koch), and Gary Sanchez Productions (Will Ferrell).

Actors Anya Taylor-Joy as Margot Mills, Nicholas Hoult as Tyler, Ralph Fiennes as Julian Slowik, the head chef of Hawthorne lead the pack of incredible performances from an ensemble cast that includes Judith Light, Reed Birney, Hong Chau, John Leguizamo, and Janet McTeer.

Still, even after its noteworthy global opening weekend, you might still be on the fence about whether you should see this movie or skip it altogether. Read on to get more insight into what The Menu is about and if it’s worth the trip to the theater.

Is The Menu worth watching?

The trailer did a very good job at not spoiling what was going to happen to this group. I find that lengthier trailers reveal too much and deter me from actually going to the theater and watching. which is why I’m not too keen on giving spoilers in this review.

When the movie started, I had my assumptions. It felt like it was going to be a film similar to Death on the Nile or the classic ‘whodunit’ film, Clue. I thought I could guess exactly what was going to happen next but, boy, was I wrong.

The moment when I knew that I didn’t have a grasp on what was happening was when I realized that all of these characters had more in common than I originally thought. Different conversations from each group of attendees gave insight into the strengths and weakness of each attendee and as their “masks” began to be uncovered by the chef-in-charge, Slowik himself, every scene seemed to be more personal.

Fiennes did a fantastic job as Slowik. He had to navigate expressing the cold, no-nonsense demeanor that his character inhabits throughout the entirety of the film. When you think he’s going to stray away, you’re seemingly struck with a very similar-toned performance even in the moments where he might show a little empathy towards the other guests. The more comedic scenes that were present throughout the film gave me more to, pardon the pun, chew on whenever I felt as if I was getting lost in the drama of the story.

I have to give proper acknowledgement to the scripting of the ending. While it wasn’t surefire, it didn’t feel as sudden as one might imagine. It was solid but not standard. While the actions of many of the characters may seem like this movie boasts no moral compass, it actually speaks to something important: At the end, everyone came in pairs or trios, but each person ended up being just an individual hiding behind some type of mask (i.e. wealth, education, status).

When people get to see you for who you really are, you’re usually standing alone with no one to back you up and it can send you into a deep spiral of lacking regard for anyone else. The ending looks to open up that conversation. It seemed a bit heavy but that’s the point.

Now, I’m biased when I say that theater viewings for horror-thrillers and everything in between are a necessity. It’s always more fun to be surrounded by other people who are experiencing each scene for the first time as well. Every twist and turn that happens, it’s happening for the first time for everyone. Definitely check this out if you can. It’s a must-see for 2022.

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The Menu is in its nationwide theatrical release window. You can keep up with Hidden Remote for more movie news and coverage.