Tuesday, 1 December 2020

Freaky (Movie Review)

With most major tentpole movies having been pushed forward to next year, it is no wonder that smaller-scale genre films are getting their moment in the sun. This is definitely the case with the horror genre in particular, which has seen the release of quite a number of noteworthy releases this past year, with films like The Invisible Man coming to mind. We can add Freaky to that conversation, the latest Blumhouse production from the director of Happy Death Day.

The movie stars Vince Vaughn as the Blissfield Butcher, a serial killer that inadvertently switches bodies with a teenage girl named Millie (Kathryn Newton), after he stabs her with a cursed dagger. Socially awkward and frequently bullied by the kids in her high school, Millie has a hard time convincing her best friends, Nyla and Josh, that she is not who she appears to be, while the Butcher continues his murderous spree with her body. And she has just 24 hours to reverse the curse, before the switch becomes permanent.

Freaky successfully marries two movie styles that have never been seen together before, the slasher and the body swap, and the result is glorious. The film has the most fun factor of all the Blumhouse productions we have gotten this year, and most of that can be attributed to how well the whole thing fits together. It borrows quite liberally from works that came before it, for sure, but it balances horror and comedy so effectively that it never starts to feel too derivative.

Vince Vaughn also helped sell the concept even further, by giving another one of his ace performances. He was especially hilarious as Millie, with his girlie mannerism standing in sharp contrast to his imposing frame. His appearance as Millie never failed to garner a laugh from the people in the theater where I'd seen the movie, and it was easy to see why.

My one main gripe with the movie was the fact that it didn't really kick into gear until after the body swap occurred roughly 30 minutes in. This led to those first 30 minutes following a rigid by-the-numbers approach typical of most slasher films, except this was not your typical slasher film.

Freaky is a horror-comedy that is just as gruesome as it is laugh-out-loud funny. The film has some of the most over-the-top kills I have seen in a horror film, so gorehounds should be pleased by all the carnage on display. It is currently showing in theaters, but would be available on the various video on demand platforms this Friday.

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