“The Menu” is a dark comedy horror film that keeps one in suspense for the whole runtime and trumps expectations with its sublime plot.
The film is centered around a group of elite guests who arrive on a private island for a dining experience at celebrity chef Julian Slowik’s exclusive restaurant, Hawthorne.
It is delightful to see where it goes from there with its commentaries on the super-rich, their fancy but vain practices, and an ultimate downfall that is horrific yet satisfying.
“The Menu” is certainly an unusual film in some aspects; it is fulfilling to watch and leaves you pondering for long.
A young couple, Tyler and Margot, wait at a pier for a private boat that is supposed to arrive soon, one that is to take them to a remote private island for an extraordinary culinary experience.
This boat ride is part of the privilege of being invited to an exclusive fine-dining restaurant named Hawthorne, which charges a ludicrous $1250 per person.
Margot is immediately startled by this figure when she first hears it, but her partner is convinced that this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. The other guests invited also arrived soon: three young tech business investors named Soren, Bryce, and Dave; an elderly businessman named Richard and his wife Anne; a former film actor named George, who is way past his prime, and his assistant and girlfriend Felicity; and a renowned food critic named Lillian Bloom, along with Ted, the editor of the magazine she writes for.
Once the boat arrives and the guests are aboard, a welcome dish with oysters and lemon caviar is served. From this very instance, Margot starts to realize that her partner Tyler is almost blindly devotional towards the celebrity chef running the restaurant, Chef Julian Slowik.
What she seems to find strange is the fact that the dish is just a warped way of presenting common items in a fancy manner. It is also soon revealed that Margot was not originally on the invited list and had only taken the place of another woman who was supposed to accompany Tyler.
Margot is indirectly reminded time and again that she is not supposed to have this experience. Nonetheless, she plays along as the guests arrive on the island and are given a short tour of it on the way to the dining hall. However, little does she, or any of the other guests, know that what they are about to witness inside this hall over the course of the evening is truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience, but one that they did not wish for.