Movie Reviews

Those Goats In The Menu Have A Super Dark Hidden Meaning

Warning! This article contains major spoilers for The Menu.The goats present in The Menu actually hide a much darker meaning for the guests. As the guests arrive at the private island where Chef Slowik’s restaurant is located, they are given a tour of the island by the maître d’hôtel, Elsa who explains that all the kitchen staff live on the island, along with Chef, and dedicate their lives solely to the restaurant. It is as they embark on the tour that they see the goats for a brief scene. Although they only appear at the beginning, the presence of the goats is significant for the entire plot of The Menu, particularly regarding the fate of the guests.

As The Menu is almost exclusively set on a private island, the movie spends some time introducing the peculiar setting both to the audience and to the guests themselves, many of whom had never been to Hawthorne before. Filmed on various islands, The Menu showcases the beauty of its filming locations in the scenes at the beginning of the film. However, this is also an indication that the island, and the entire ecosystem the restaurant is built around, play a much bigger part in the dinner than it initially appears.

Related: The Menu’s Deleted Chef Backstory Scene Would’ve Hurt The Movie

As the goats appear on the screen for the first time at the beginning of the film, an unsettling hidden detail appears, they are Judas goats. Judas goats are trained specifically to be used in general animal herding, a fact which foreshadows the end of The Menu. Although they are not as common in modern times, Judas goats can sometimes still be found in slaughterhouses and are trained to associate with sheep or cattle to lead them to a specific destination. Their function is to lead other animals to slaughter while the lives of the Judas goats are spared.

The Menu hints at the ending of the film multiple times throughout, but this may be one of the biggest clues to the fate of the guests from the very beginning of the film. As the guests are brought to the restaurant, they are lead in by Elsa followed by two goats, signifying that they are the livestock being brought to the slaughterhouse, which in this comparison is embodied by the restaurant. As such, the Judas goats actually foreshadow one of the biggest twists in The Menu, indicating that the guests are all going to die.

As Chef’s intention to kill everybody in The Menu becomes clear, there are various hints of his plan throughout the film. It is not only the goats that suggest the ending. In particular, the island itself is one of the first clues that the audience and the guests themselves receive. In one of the first shots of the island, the first thing the viewers see is the dead trees that are prominent in the landscape surrounding Hawthorne, suggesting that Chef’s restaurant will eventually end up destroyed.

The relevance of the island to the plot of The Menu is explained in the movie as well, as Chef introduces the first course. As a movie that is centered around a dinner and its menu, the dishes in The Menu all have a significant meaning behind them, which is something explained by Julian as he presents his dishes. When talking about the first course, called the Island, he explains how everything in Hawthorne is dependent on the island itself and the ecosystem that surrounds them. Therefore, if the island is shown as a dying ecosystem in The Menu, the people that inhabit it are going to die as well.

More: Why The Staff Agreed To Chef Slowik’s Plan In The Menu

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