It’s not everyday you watch a love story turn into a woman fighting for her life against a cannibal, but that’s the case with Hulu’s new thriller, Costs.
Costs follows Noa (Daisy Edgar-Jones), a woman who is unlucky in dating, as most are in the age of dating apps and other modern methods. Enter: Steve (Sebastian Stan), a charming, “like no other” man who has a cute encounter with Noa at the grocery store, which leads to the start of their relationship. However, when the two go away together for the weekend, Noa realizes that Steve is not the man of her dreams – he is a real cannibal who will keep her locked up and sell her meat to the highest bidders.
Obviously, the premise is different from most stories, which is definitely a point in favor of the production. The opening date scene with Noa and Chad (Brett Dier) is so well written. Everything about it is great: the awkwardness of the misogynistic conversation, Chad’s outfit, and the separation of the check and the leftovers at the end of dinner.
This is then juxtaposed with the cute encounter between Noa and Steve, which leaves the audience unable to wipe a giddy smile from her face. It’s goofy and realistic, but still cute and seemingly perfect for Noa. The writing and directing are so perfect with these two scenes.
Also, the best part of the movie comes from the bait and switch opening credits, which comes about 33 minutes into the movie. It brilliantly shows how the happy-go-lucky romantic-comedy-style movie you thought you’d watch before just isn’t going to happen at all, and while it took 33 minutes to get there, the real movie begins now.
Another strong point of the film comes from the acting. Stan and Edgar-Jones have amazing chemistry, and their dance scene has become an automatic trend on TikTok. Stan’s lopsided persona and Edgar-Jones’ desperation at being kidnapped are both unforgettable performances.
However, the film’s gore wasn’t exactly believable. When Steve carves the thigh meat to serve to others, it very clearly looks like a fake thigh. Whether or not it’s a budget issue or poor craftsmanship, it knocks you out of the movie.
The real purpose of the film is to illustrate the horrors of modern dating and how women are often survivors of male verbal, physical and mental abuse. However, the messaging seems too direct. The writing and directing don’t give audiences a chance to try to think critically for themselves – rather they spoon-feed the lessons of misogyny and the disturbing nature of dating in the modern era. .
The only part that’s nice to see is how Noa and her best friend Mollie (Jonica T. Gibbs) aren’t saved by Paul (Dayo Okeniyi), a man, but instead have to work to save themselves. That’s really key and something that I certainly appreciate in the movie.
Overall, however, the film has a unique premise, but is above all an acting showcase for Stan and Edgar-Jones, as well as a dream for their fans in terms of thirsty content. Costs is a fun, high-energy, and disturbing movie to see and maybe even rewatch, but not if you’re looking for a movie that critically challenges your way of thinking.