Conner’s Critiques: “The Menu,” is a satirical take on the food and restaurant industry, not a horror movie.


Movie poster for “The Menu”

Conner McBride, Staff Writer

It’s Saturday and you’ve managed to convince your parents or your friends that going and seeing the new food-themed horror movie, “The Menu,” will be a fun way to spend the evening. 

You purchase your tickets, walk into the theater and settle into your seats. You place your drink and food in the cupholder, unaware of what’s about to happen, and prepare to watch the most miscategorized movie to reach theaters this year.

First of all, this movie is classified as a “horror/thriller” on Google which could not be further from the truth. 

Despite all the ads seen on social media like TikTok, featuring suspenseful music and clips from more intense scenes, there are few action-filled scenes. A majority of the movie is just dialogue, and the few action clips that are shown don’t last longer than a few minutes. Everything violence-related is just vaguely alluded to instead of shown, leaving the movie feeling a little dull and uneventful. 

The outfits for Chef Slowik and his kitchen team are in typical chef or waitress garb, a chef’s coat, an apron, and the toque which is what the traditional chefs hat is called. As for the restaurants guests, because it is a high-class restaurant, are all dressed to the nines in either suits or fancy dresses. They’re a little bland but overall fitting for the theme of the movie.

There’s nothing that really stands out and says “Hey! This is a horror movie!” and there’s nothing really that thrilling until maybe the last 10 minutes of the film.

If anything, the movie should be classified as a satirical film. The whole premise of the film is rich people going to an exclusive restaurant, “Hawthorne,” for an experience, being served food that is only deemed fancy because richer people claim it’s better.. 

“The Menu” is an unfortunate commentary on how today’s food and the restaurant industry work. As the world advances, people become more and more willing to spend an exorbitant amount of money on “experiences” when it comes to food. In turn, this allows restaurants to charge anywhere from a few hundred dollars to $2,380 per person for what is essentially a tasting menu: singular bite-sized pieces that don’t fill you up but sure will drain your wallet. 

If not a satire, “The Menu” could be classified as a thriller/comedy. Although the word thriller is used very generously in this scenario, it’s still more thrilling than it is scary. And it features plenty of funny moments that feel like they belong in a comedy movie and not in a horror one. 

A key point within the film is when Chef Slowik, played by Ralph Fiennes, mocks Tyler, played by Nicholas Hoult, one of the side characters who is obsessed with the food industry and anything and everything culinary-related. He makes a fool of himself when he’s given a chance to show off his culinary skills to the head chef of the restaurant. There are multiple other scenarios featuring a pretty dark, but still hilarious, sense of humor. 

The sets of the movie are alright if not a little boring. It’s what you can expect if you imagine a fancy restaurant in your mind, all dark tones, and a sophisticated atmosphere. The restaurant is very similar to the concept of the three Michelin star winning restaurant, NOMA, in Copenhagen, where it promotes a very farm-to-table ideal. 

Overall, this movie is a misrepresentation of its genre and would be better off labeled as a comedy or a satire, but is still a good film that will make you laugh.