Movie Review: Freaky (2020)

Directed by Christopher Landon, Freaky is a 2020 horror-comedy film based on the premise of a “Freaky Friday” body swap. When Millie Kessler (Kathryn Newton) is almost killed by the notorious hometown serial killer, the Blissfield Butcher (Vince Vaughn), a mystical dagger instead causes them to swap bodies, with a 24-hour time limit before the change becomes permanent. Millie (as Vaughn) must work with her friends, Nyla (Celeste O’Connor), Josh (Misha Oseravich) and Booker (Uriah Shelton) to find a way to swap Millie back, all the while the Butcher does whatever he wants with Millie’s body.

+ I like Kathryn Newton and happily place her in that same sphere as Anya Taylor-Joy, Abigail Breslin and Hailee Steinfeld as actresses to keep a close eye on. Vaughn has had something of a career resurgence of late, moving past his comedy roots to star in Brawl in Cell Block 99, Dragged Across Concrete and even True Detective. I’m not sure I’ve seen him as the outright villain, though. Due to the body swapping nature of the film, Kathryn Newton is essentially playing “Vince Vaughn playing a serial killer”, so instead of getting bogged down in Face/Off specifics, I’ll just say I enjoyed both the leads
+ the opening sequence, and a few key moments for the rest of the film are ultra gory, almost to the point of parody. Taking cues from the aforementioned Vince Vaughn movies, this is a movie for squeamish folk to avoid
+ despite the blood and guts, there is a lot of heart to this movie. I enjoyed the relationships between characters, especially when you take into account that most of Millie’s friends act along Vaughn, and not Newton. The same goes for Vaughn-as-Millie’s primary crush, with some (intentionally) awkward results, but gosh it’s funny

– I’m really not a fan of the ‘sassy gay teen’ character that far too many movies are working with, especially when done so poorly. Millie’s friend Josh (Osherovish) is as stereotypical as it gets, and has a few choice lines about the men in the small town of Blissfield. Just imagine if it was a male talking about females and you’ll see the problem
– as a minor negative, I found the pacing of the ending to be a bit funny. I was not ready for it to wrap up when it did — but then it didn’t, and I felt almost like I must have missed something connecting the two parts. You’ll see what I mean

> this film is supposedly set in the same “extended universe” as the Happy Death Day duology (reviewed here and here). If so, I eagerly await some sort of crossover or cameo or — dare I say — team up

Should you see this film: Overall, I enjoyed this. It feels familiar, due to the body swapping plot, but both Newton and Vaughn are clearly having fun with their dual roles and it makes for an easy watch.

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