The Menu: 7 Thoughts I Had While Watching The Horror-Comedy

Anya Taylor-Joy and Ralph Fiennes speaking in The Menu
(Image credit: Searchlight Pictures)

Horror movies. There are good ones, there are bad ones, and then there are some of the best horror movies out there that you could watch. I am a horror movie enthusiast, and you better believe that when I heard that The Menu was coming out, featuring Ralph Fiennes as a twisted chef, and having a stellar The Menu cast full of stars like Anya Taylor-Joy, Nicholas Hoult and more, I was on board. 

So November 2022 came around, I went to see the film and wow, was I not expecting what I was delivered. And I mean that in the best way possible. From the moment the film started to the very end, I was blown away by what this comedy-horror brought – and boy, did I have thoughts. 

And obviously, there are some big spoilers down below for The Menu, so don’t read if you haven’t seen it!

Ralph Fiennes in The Menu

(Image credit: Searchlight Pictures)

Ralph Fiennes Was Born To Play This Role

Look, I’ve always been a Ralph Fiennes fan. I’ve seen some of his best movies out there, and it also helps that I was around when he was Voldemort in the Harry Potter franchise. The dude knows how to play a good villain through and through and I knew that from the moment he took on a horror movie role, he would kill it. 

The first time we see Fiennes in his lead role, you know there’s something off. Granted, at first, it could just be because he’s a high-profile chef and has an air of mystery, but it’s the way he looks at his guests, how he examines Margot (later Erin) in this strange new environment. He’s brilliant, creepy, and the right amount of suspenseful that this movie needed. 

I know nominations for horror movies from the Academy Awards is something that rarely happens, but I believe that Fiennes deserves at least a nod for The Menu. He was just outstanding from start to finish. 

The steak in The Menu.

(Image credit: Searchlight Pictures)

Some Of This Food Lowkey Looks Good

Okay, okay, I know the whole entire point of The Menu was that the food was supposed to sort of be art and not really the main focus of Julian Slowik’s meal to this elite crowd. It was supposed to bear a message about his past and how he is so sick of cooking for snooty society people who have taken the joy out of cooking. 

But man…some of this food looks so good. 

The stuff that was there purely for art (like the one sea scallop on a rock from the shore) was a little much, but come on, those oysters looked delicious. And that steak looks divine. I could almost feel the drool coming from my lips. It’s been a long time since I’ve made something like that. I’m going to need to check out some shows to learn how to cook some of that stuff.

Nicholas Hoult in The Menu.

(Image credit: Searchlight Pictures)

Tyler Is The Perfect Representation Of How Some Foodies Act In Society

First off, Nicholas Hoult was fantastic in The Menu, but I’m glad he himself is not a foodie in real life – let me just say that I hated Tyler, and I know that was supposed to be the point. 

I do consider myself a foodie. Like Tyler, I’ve analyzed how my favorite chefs cook so I can get close to some of their meals, and admire everything they have produced for their fans. I’ve seen all the episodes of Gordon Ramsay’s shows because I’m that big of a fan. But Tyler is the perfect representation of how some foodies act when they think they’re better than everyone else. 

Tyler’s interest in Julian Slowik’s work was something you could see visibly bothered Slowik, because he was tired of rich, affluent people coming into his restaurant and thinking that they knew exactly what he was doing with the food, because he is the chef. And to an extent, a lot of foodies out there can be like that, where they suddenly think they can make the things chefs make just because they know about truffles or an exotic tea. 

But, what really makes Tyler so unlikeable is that he’s snobbish with his food intake in the perfect way. It’s subtle, like how he comments on how Margot eats, or how he thinks he’s on the same level as Julian. It was perfectly done. 

Anya Taylor-Joy in The Menu.

(Image credit: Searchlight Pictures)

Also, Wow, Hate Tyler For Doing That To Erin

Yeah, not cool. I was already not a huge fan of Tyler's in the first place, when he literally called Margot (later revealed to be Erin) a child after she didn’t want to eat one of Julian’s meals because there was nothing there she liked, but the fact that he knew this was going to happen made it worse. 

He willingly brought in an escort to this dinner, knowing she would be killed, not even caring about her life in the slightest. That’s sick. That’s a sick kind of horror that almost felt a little too human and selfish. And yes, I hate him forever and his death is justified after Julian humiliates him. 

The Menu cast

(Image credit: Searchlight Pictures)

This Is The Most Avant-Garde Horror-Comedy I’ve Ever Seen

I mean, it really is. Like, when I went into this film, I thought I was going to get a comedy-horror about cannibalism, if we’re being honest, and it was going to be just as bloody as some other horror-comedies I’ve watched like Ready or Not or Shaun of the Dead. But nope, this film wanted to paint you a picture and creep you out. 

The Menu does an excellent job of building suspense and making jokes about what is happening without killing the suspense that has been built, causing you to be even more on the edge of your seat. But the message behind the small bits of horror that we do get throughout the film is what keeps you in your seat. 

The main message that we see is that mind-boggling wealth really is a source of evil, and corrupts people to an extent that we normal people can’t comprehend. It makes you cocky, selfish, and loads of other bad stuff, and that was everything that Julian hated. He used to cook because he loved to cook, but ever since he got famous, all he does is cook for the snobs of society and he hated it, and he wanted to take out as many of those people as he could on that one fateful night because he despised how his life had become. 

To be honest, it’s a powerful take on society and how sometimes, we take the joy out of the simplest things, such as cooking, by overcomplicating them.

The main cast of The Menu.

(Image credit: Searchlight Pictures)

God, I Want A Cheeseburger

I love cooking shows and baking shows but that cheeseburger and fries that Erin ended up having looked so damn good and I wanted to devour it through my screen.

Seriously, I went to Shake Shack right after. I was really craving that burger. Taylor-Joy was very right about being hungry after.

Anya Taylor-Joy as Margot in The Menu

(Image credit: Searchlight Pictures)

Erin Using Slowik’s Memories Against Him Was Brilliant

But, on a more serious note, I have to give props to Anya Taylor-Joy as Erin in this film, because she was great as usual, and Erin’s turn at the end was so brilliant. Since Erin got the chance to sneak into Julian’s house, she was able to see that at one point, Julian did love to cook, but his career and his passion were corrupted by the wealthy. He used to enjoy cooking simple things for people who loved his food. 

And Erin, being the smart girl she was, uses those memories against him to ask for a cheeseburger and fries, a simple meal, but Julian is so moved by it that he not only makes it for her (and she enjoys it) but he lets her go, when he planned to kill her after her betrayal in calling the coast guard. She saved herself just by being herself and knowing he just wanted to cook for someone that would appreciate his food as it was instead of expecting it to be fancy. 

She deserves to be a modern-day final girl. Erin, eating her burger, while watching the building go up in flames in the distance as she sailed away from the island was iconic. 

The Menu was unlike any other comedy-horror movie that I have seen in a long time, but in every way, it was brilliantly done, and something I would genuinely re-watch. It was so good. 

Alexandra Ramos
Content Producer

Big nerd and lover of Game of Thrones/A Song of Ice and Fire. Will forever hate season eight. Superhero and horror geek. And please don't debate me on The Last of Us 2, it was amazing!