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When asked about the amount of empathy Reiss expresses for the film’s central antagonist, Reiss had a lot to say about the nuances of the character:
“I mean, we think Chef Slowik is a genius. We love him and we also think he’s full of s***. I think those two things can exist and also hopefully for the audience, make it an interesting watch because I think in some ways they agree with his evening and why he’s doing what he’s doing…”
In the opening acts of the multi-course meal, things quickly descend into chaos. Through his extravagant dishes, Chef Slowik reveals he knows a lot of particular details about his guests and the lives that they lead. He toasts images onto tortillas and gives them to the guests, reminding them of frightening ghosts they tried to leave in their pasts. He refuses bread service, remarking on the food’s history as a peasant’s meal. Soon, it escalates into something much more vicious and bloody. Recognizing a working-class spirit within Margot, he opens up to her about his dark endgame.
Fed up with the life he’s led as a world-class culinary artist, Chef Slowik no longer finds pleasure in the act of cooking. So, he’s seeking revenge on the only people that can afford his food but inherently will never appreciate it, the insatiable elite of society. This is not just a dinner, it’s a saw trap, and everyone attending the meal is going to die. The guests, Chef Slowik himself, even his dedicated crew of chefs.