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Freaky: An Inspired Horror Film Featuring Fun Performances From Vince Vaughn and Kathryn Newton

December 19, 2020

After the excellent Happy Death Day and Happy Death Day 2U, director/writer Christopher Landon is back with another film with an interesting hook. Instead of a time loop, Freaky focuses on a 17-year old named Millie (Kathryn Newton) swapping bodies with a 40-something-year old serial killer dubbed the BIissfield Butcher (Vince Vaughn) after he stabs her with a mystical dagger known as La Dola. To make things worse, she (now Vince Vaughn) learns she has around 12(ish) hours to find The Blissfield Butcher (Now Kathryn Newton), so she can stab him with the dagger. It’s a wonderful idea, and the performances by Vaughn and Newton, and Landon’s ability to stretch a $6 million budget make Freaky worth a watch.

After the PG-13 rated Happy Death Day films, it’s nice to see Landon step into R-rated territory, and he more than earns the rating. The beginning of the film features some highly effective gore as dumb teenagers are hunted and killed by the Blissfield Butcher, who uses wine bottles, tennis racquets and spears as killing devices. Landon takes full advantage of Vaughn’s 6’5 frame, as the large killer overpowers all of his victims, and later his size plays well with the body swap as Millie begins to enjoy having the strength of a large man who can pick up bullies like they’re nothing. 

I love a good kitchen fight

While the Happy Death Day films focused on likable characters trying to figure out how to break the time loops, Freaky is more kill driven, as unlikable characters are singled out, and sawed in half. It’s easy to know who will be killed during the film, as various stereotypical adults and high schoolers mark themselves for eventual deaths by being rude, bossy or chauvinistic. On one hand, there’s a satisfaction in seeing bullies being frozen to death, but it also eliminates any suspense as there’s nothing to like about the horror fodder. 

Amidst the chaos, there is a nice story involving Millie’s mom Katie (Paula Finneran) coming to grips with the loss of her husband. Also, Millie’s friends Josh (Misha Osherovich) and Nyla (Celeste O’Conner) prove their loyalty as they help Millie (after a fun kitchen fight), attempt to stop the serial killer from wiping out dozens of kids at the homecoming dance. In the end, Landon’s neat idea and committed performances have created a fun film that should become a cult-classic.

Freaky is a lot of fun, and if you enjoy all-in performances, creative skills and inspired cheeky ideas, you’ll appreciate the film.

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