The Menu captivates audiences with ominous, entrancing plot


Neria Abbimutt, Arts editor

The Menu, directed by Mark Mylod, is an unconventional thriller with alluring twists and a maniacal ulterior motive. 

The movie was released Nov. 18, 2022, and has since gained significant traction because of its unique perspective on status and wealth. The Australian Newspaper said, “The Menu becomes increasingly creepy with each new course.” It is streaming through HBO Max, where it has reached an audience of over 24 million.  Numerous viewers remark on its peculiar nature, which contrasts the traditional horror film. The Menu’s cleverly constructed plot and palpable intensity make the audience sympathize with the seemingly innocent characters. 

The bulk of the film takes place at the Hawthorne restaurant, situated on a secluded island. The movie spotlights the young couple, Margot, portrayed by Anna Taylor Joy, and her food enthusiast partner, Tyler, played by Nicholas Hoult. The two are invited to indulge in a five-course meal experience alongside other attendees with high social ranks and affluence. 

Distracted by the exotic and enticing meals with an avant-garde presence, the guests fail to fathom that the night will end with their deaths. Slowick, the chef declares that this bunch is responsible for extracting the passion out of art with their insatiable appetite and standards. As expressed in the words of Elsa, Chef Slowik’s assistant, “You will eat less than you desire and more than you deserve.” 

The Menu expertly tugs on the audience’s emotions through its uncanny suspense. The message, masked under the extremity of its plot, plays into the contemporary ideology of “Eat the rich.” Though conveyed in an unorthodox manner, the movie offers a refreshing take. According to the AV Club, “Mylod’s stew saves its most mouth-watering plate for the last. That’s why it’s fiendishly delightful.”

The Menu is an obscure and tantalizing film that plays with the mind of spectators. Its eeriness and ominous nature entrances audiences and opens their eyes to a broader message on the complexity of the societal hierarchy and the challenges within it.