The Menu (2022): Movie Review

By: Alexander Bowler | Contributing Writer |

Disclaimer: None of my criticism is meant to tear down the creators, writers, or actors involved. With that being said, here is my take on The Menu by Searchlight Pictures and the horror genre as a whole.

Overall Rating: 3/10

Before you come for my head, I have my reasons for this low rating. I can say there were some decently written scenes and comedic moments. However, this was advertised as a horror movie, not a comedy. This is the reason it ranked so low on my scale. If they were going for horror, they failed….horribly. I found myself only really enjoying this movie when it made me laugh. Good horror is the type of movie that is so shocking, you only want to watch it again to spook your friends. I could not watch this again because it is just so uninteresting. 

The pace of the movie was relatively slow, but not in a way that builds suspense. It felt entirely lackadaisical from scene to scene. There was little purpose to most of the dialogue or any interaction between the characters. It could be argued that the lack of noise was to contrast the loud claps and small bits of important dialogue. If that was the case, it was not done well and could put me to sleep. 

Additionally, my biggest pet peeve in any movie is the lack of consistency. The amount of plot holes and explanations of certain scenarios within this movie irritates me to high heaven. I will not spoil the entire movie, but just know you will be expected to make gigantic leaps for the movie to even slightly make sense. Even if you used logic to fill in the blanks, the situations would still seem absurd. 

As much as I am tearing into this movie, I selected it to show the horror genre’s direction as a whole. Horror movies have slowly all formed into the same tropes over, and over, and over again. The epidemic of psychological horror movies has pushed this formula in the industry. We see directors like in The Menu or Fresh that try to get into your head and nothing else. With seemingly no regard for consistency, it feels like they are just trying to push something that might scare us (very heavy on the might). This has allowed writers and producers to get lazy and not truly tap into horror fanbases, but rather appease the general public. Though there are a few exceptions, the industry as a whole is going in a very wrong direction and needs to be pulled back. We need to see fewer tropes and more plot-driven creativity. When horror movies are predictable, it is no longer a horror movie.