One of the biggest unexpected hits of the year has fans wondering if horror is the right description for the movie's vibe.
Mark Mylod's feature film boasts an excellent cast that includes Anya Taylor-Joy, Nicholas Hoult, and the devilishly gorgeous Ralph Fiennes as the movie's main villain.
In the story, a young couple travels to a remote private island to attend a dinner party hosted by a world-famous genius chef, and their exquisite meal goes all wrong when the chef and his team begin a real hunt for their wealthy guests, killing them one by one. Given the description, it is only natural that viewers perceived The Menu as a horror, but the film actually turned out to be much more complex to categorize into any one genre.
Comparing the movie to another surprise horror hit of 2022, Barbarian, fans on Reddit attempted to answer the ultimate question: is The Menu really worth watching for avid horror fans? After much deliberation, the verdict was reached — yes, definitely worth it. But that doesn't mean that fans of blood and jump scares will find all those horror tropes in Mylod's film.
As many viewers have noted, Barbarian and The Menu are similar in how they use dark humor and build tension, and yet, the two movies are very different when it comes to gruesome murders and supernatural monsters.
In The Menu, there is an overarching sense of satire: the film utilizes horror elements to elevate its main idea about rich people making money by robbing artists. Of course, Mylod did not invent the combination of horror and satire: among other notable examples, Jordan Peele has been using this recipe for the past six years.
Despite lacking some genuinely scary moments, The Menu is sure to enrich the palate of die-hard horror fans, for such a high level of acting, cinematography, and atmosphere are not found in every movie, especially in the horror genre.
The Menu can be described as a black comedy thriller with a touch of horror, and it will certainly make the audience shudder — though not from cheap jump scares, but from an underlying sense of dread mixed with humor.