You would possibly perchance also unprejudiced also be highest. That’s the unsuitable promise offered to us by Instagram influencers and smartly-known particular person lifestyle gurus. But on the again of their colorful smiles, flat bellies, and unbiased pores and skin lies the beget. You would possibly perchance also unprejudiced also be highest factual treasure me if you plot shut plot shut plot shut my worth. They give lip-provider to self-care, self-treasure, and empowerment as a sales pitch to promote their shit, be it juice blends, assemble-up lines, or cancer-curing cootchie stones, because there’s a frightfully skinny line between self-increase and sociopathic narcissism. As a minimal, that’s the premise of Fresh Year, Fresh You, Blumhouse’s most contemporary entry for Hulu’s holiday-themed anthology alarm assortment Into The Darkish.
Fresh Year, Fresh You begins with Danielle, a social media celeb who has constructed her worth on “Very Very Veggie” juice blends, enviable Instagram posts, and self-treasure sales pitches. As the Fresh Year approaches, she’s poised to assemble the leap from web status to TV persona with an upcoming talk repeat, Rep Effectively Danielle. But first, she has to gain via one wild reunion alongside with her highest guests from high college. They meet up in a swanky mansion that contains a sauna, a pool, and different execrable reminiscences. As the evening goes on, lady talk turns heated. Mud masks flip menacing. And Danielle (Carly Chaikin), Kayla (Kirby Howell-Baptiste), Alexis (Suki Waterhouse), and Chloe (Melissa Bergland) will face-off in a strive in opposition to for his or her lives.
Like many a Blumhouse production, this alarm film has a lean solid of characters and is basically space in a single do. But no longer like their other releases, this one boasts a female helmer in Sophia Takal, the author/director of the tips-bending thriller Constantly Shine. Takal has previously proven a capability for turning cozy areas into traps of fear, and he or she does it once more right here. The mansion is luxurious. With a large staircase, a substantial kitchen, and a bevy of mirrors, it looks the correct do for a swanky girls’ evening in. But her camera snags on some worrisome particulars, treasure the four knives glinting from a magnetic veil bar, and the puny mirrors flip unsuitable when their reflections gash again the girls’ faces into objects. Glances and smiles gash again in two for the length of the requisite community dance quantity. And with the level to of “hermetically sealed home windows” as a consequence of an unstated “accident,” the entire do begins to in truth feel smaller, denser, and claustrophobic. This suffocating sensation intensifies as tensions upward thrust, and slice up-monitors confine characters to a unprejudiced appropriate tighter aspect ratio as they bustle spherical this tenacious entice.
But what’s most intelligent about this lean and mean thriller is its characters. There’s something chillingly familiar in every. Chloe’s earnestness to assemble self-deprecating jokes, a snicker too like a flash and loud to convincingly veil the chance underneath. Kayla’s worried smile as she rushes to forgive a frenemy, rather then confront a sneaky shrimp or flat-out lie. Alexis’s thousand-yard search as she watches a beaming Danielle play to her camera for an Instagram video. And though Danielle’s shallowness and narcissism assemble her a monster, there’s something to her that’s uncomfortably relatable too. Earlier than our very eyes, we note her ruin narratives that assemble her life more appealing for her perky social media persona. We note her rewrite her life for the likes. And presumably, we note ourselves, gash again to objects and leered at, as if Fresh Year, Fresh You is a shattered mirror reflecting our have bullshit.
As she did with Constantly Shine, Takal takes jealousy/feminine rivalry/and frenemies to an outrageous discontinue nonetheless ratchets up the stress and madness with such steadiness that it’s very no longer going to write it off as absurd. Her heroines are the frog in the boring boil pot, no longer attentive to the chance until it’s too gradual. And we are their worried witnesses, who fright no longer factual the story unfolding, nonetheless additionally the unlit truths at its core. The highway between self-care and narcissism—or self-increase and self-destruction—would possibly perchance unprejudiced also be as blurry as that of friend and enemy. And in its shades of gray, sizable alarm is imaginable, and presumably, inevitable.
Fresh Year, Fresh You is now on Hulu.
Kristy Puchko is the managing editor of Pajiba. You would possibly perchance also practice her on Twitter.
Header Image Supply: Hulu