The Terrifying Sebastian Stan Scene That Still Gives Us Nightmares

One of the more notable movies of 2022 is Mimi Cave's "Fresh," which first appears to be a light, sweet romantic comedy that takes an earnest look at the painful foibles of modern dating. In "Fresh," Daisy Edgar-Jones (from "Under the Banner of Heaven") plays Noa, a woman whose app-arranged dates are getting worse and worse. She's received far too many unsolicited nudes, and men insult her as being stuck-up when she rebuffs their clumsy sexual come-ons. On the cusp of giving up on dating altogether, Noa unepxectedly hits it off with the handsome and charming Steve (Sebastian Stan) in a grocery store. Their rapport is good, he is apologetic when he accidentally says or does something wrong, and their sexual chemistry is spot-on. 

While it seems like a big step to take in the early days of a relationship, Noa agrees to go on a weekend road trip with Steve, away from humanity, just the two of them. Everything seems to be working out for the best. 

Until Noa awakens on a mattress on the floor with her wrists chained. For a moment, it seems like a playful joke, but Steve makes it as clear as possible that he has no intention of letting her go. Steve explains that he is, in fact, an entrepreneur who prepares special meal delivery boxes for the ultra-wealthy. They contain the finest cuts of meat. Human meat. Human meat sliced off of still-living women that Steve has seduced. The idea is that Steve will slowly butcher Noa, keeping her alive for as long as he can in order to provide the freshest meat possible for his clients. 

Hello, "Fresh."

Hustle culture

Steve — which he will eventually reveal is not his real name — delivers the revelation to Noa in a slow, matter-of-fact, almost apologetic way. Steve does not become a gnashing, villainous monster, but a weirdly caring captor, explaining that Noa's scenario is indeed quite unfortunate. His warmth, of course, makes the monstrousness of his actions all the more horrifying. Shortly after leaving Noa in her cell, Steve moves into the kitchen of the remote estate where he keeps his prisoners and prepares them for shipping. Steve removes a human leg from a fridge and, with the panache of a celebrity chef on The Food Network, ably begins chopping and slicing it into vacuum-sealed plastic pouches for delivery. 

The butchering of human meat is ghastly enough, but it's Sebastian Stan's casual glee that gives the scene its edge. This is not a desperate hillbilly ghoul from "The Texas Chain Saw Massacre," nor is it a cool and calculated Hannibal Lecter casually slicing up brains. This is an enthused craftsperson who has trained themselves to be as good a butcher as possible, takes pleasure in their work, and has managed to make some money from it. Steve is no different from someone who sells their own handmade jewelry on Etsy, or a local vendor who charges clients hundreds of dollars for hand-crafted vegan-leather shoes. Steve is a Millennial hustle-minded self-starter who turned their hobby into a business. 

The only difference is that his hobby is cannibalism.

The horrible charms of Sebastian Stan

Sebastian Stan is a handsome and charming actor, likely most popular for playing the role of Bucky Barnes, aka The Winter Soldier, opposite Captain America. Despite his dazzling eyes and flip, attractive demeanor, Stan is an expert at playing characters who invite an element of wariness. He's the perfect date ... that you don't want to be left alone with. Immediately prior to "Fresh," Stan appeared in a romantic film called "Monday," directed by Argyris Papadimitropoulos. In that film, he and a young woman (Denise Gough) try to extend a vacation fling into a real relationship back home, to largely emotionally disastrous results. Stan's character is immature and inattentive. 

In "Fresh," Stan is certainly more attentive, but not in the ways you might want, and Noa learns very quickly the chilling danger of Sebastian Stan's charms. 

"Fresh" eventually reveals further secrets about Steve — like his real name, for starters — and provide Noa with an opportunity to escape ... or to see what all the fuss is about when it comes to eating human meat. It seems Steve has struck upon a weird fact posited by many films about cannibalism: That human beings are just delicious. Provided they're cooked and prepared correctly. And say what you will about the ghoulishness of the meat's source, some of those dishes look downright delectable.