Sommerleigh Pollonais, Horror Head Writer
Plot: After swapping bodies with a deranged serial killer, a young girl in high school discovers she has less than 24 hours before the change becomes permanent.
Review: It may be hard to believe, but horror and comedy are closely related. What might be funny to you won’t make me laugh, and the same goes for scary stuff. Then there’s the physical aspects of the genre. Think about The Three Stooges for instance, who basically beat the crap out of each other for laughs.
Now the blending of the genres doesn’t always work, but when it does, horror comedies are a blast. And I’m happy to report Freaky is a wonderful blend of both.
Taking the Freaky Friday trope and adding a horror element to it was a stroke of genius. From a horror standpoint, Freaky delivers in spades, with a strong opening of teenagers being slaughtered with diabolical glee by The Butcher (Vince Vaughn), aka this movie’s Jason Voorhees. When he tries killing the shy, sweet Millie (Kathryn Newton) with a dagger that turns out to be enchanted, they end up switching bodies. Poor Millie finds herself stuck in the body of serial killer, while he discovers a whole slew of new potential victims at her high school.
Vince Vaughn (Wedding Crashers/Brawl) is what I call “pitch perfect” casting as The Butcher. We all know he has the comedic chops and his ability to embody a teenage girl had me in stitches (the way he ran, when “possessed” by Millie was comedy gold), but what some people may not know is he can also deliver when it comes to being a badass. Go watch Brawl if you don’t believe me. His physicality is on full display here, and standing at six feet, four inches, you totally buy into his ability to throw someone across a room or murder a bunch of teens without breaking a sweat. But Vince is not the only strong presence in this fun genre mashup.
Our young leads also deliver, even with each of them playing up to their standard cliched roles. We have Final Girl Kathryn Newton (Detective Pikachu) as Millie. She is a young woman who has been bullied a lot, even by a friggin’ teacher! She also has double duty as The Butcher in teenage form and it’s hilarious watching this petite girl get her crazy on. Her besties, an African American girl and a gay boy (see what I meant about cliched?) were equally entertaining. And kudos to the movie for going meta from time to time and acknowledging these are the folks that quickly get killed off in horror flicks. Even the stock characters like the mean kids played their parts to perfection. You’ll hate them and you’ll enjoy watching them get knocked off in wonderfully gory ways.
Now Freaky isn’t perfect. The pacing gets a bit messy in the final act and the “extra” ending felt unnecessary. But overall this was a great twist on body-swapping films and I had a blast watching it. So much so I wouldn’t mind watching things get “freaky” again, with a sequel or two.
Sommer’s Score: 7 out of 10
You can watch my video review of Freaky here:
Sommerleigh of the House Pollonais. First of Her Name. Sushi Lover, Queen of Horror Movies, Comic Books and Binge Watching Netflix. Mother of two beautiful black cats named Vader and Kylo. I think eating Popcorn at the movies should be mandatory, PS4 makes the best games ever and I’ll be talking about movies until the zombie apocalypse comes.
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