Review: “The Menu” successfully blends horror and social commentary


Nicole Hasek

“The Menu” started streaming on HBO Max last month.

Spoilers ahead

Fan of food and horror? If you are, then you’re in luck! “The Menu” is a dark yet humorous film directed by Mark Mylod, which received an 88% on Rotten Tomatoes.

The film centers on a couple, Tyler (Nicholas Hoult) and Margot (Anya Taylor-Joy), eating at a divine, exclusive restaurant along with 10 other guests with questionable morals. The guests meet Chef Slowik (Ralph Fiennes), who treats his restaurant like an army base and has tough, high expectations for his staff.

Tyler is a huge fan of Slowik and gatekeeps a lot from Margot. He knew bringing Margot on this trip would end in disaster, but he brought her anyway. Chef Slowik serves the guests many different and bizarre dishes, and the guests get increasingly paranoid with each new dish.

One of Chef Slowik’s final dishes is personalized tortillas with pictures of each guest, revealing something unpleasant about them. This is the film’s climax, and you can feel the extreme tension and drama.

The workers begin to act like cult members, and it becomes obvious to the guests that they are in danger. Margot takes action and is left to save herself against Chef Slowik. I think this was a really good part of the movie, as Margot reminds Slowik that he must cook with love and that he is ultimately cooking for someone else.

The movie’s end explains that Slowik was trying to show the wealthy guests what it felt like to be helpless. Margot was unlike the other guests, since she is a part of the working class, and she was eventually allowed to leave the island. The ending leaves you wanting more, just like a good meal.

Content Warning: This film might not be for everyone; it includes violence and suicide and should be watched cautiously. If you are struggling, never be afraid to reach out and talk to somebody. For the suicide and crisis lifeline, you can call 988.

Rating: 7/10