Friday, November 13, 2020

Freaky Review: A Humorous Take on The Body Swap Formula With Splatters of Horror

Kathryn Newton	...	Millie Vince Vaughn	Vince Vaughn	...	Blissfield Butcher Alan Ruck	Alan Ruck	...	Mr. Fletcher Katie Finneran	Katie Finneran	...	Paula Kessler Mitchell Hoog	Mitchell Hoog	...	Evan Uriah Shelton	Uriah Shelton	...	Booker Misha Osherovich	Misha Osherovich	...	Josh Melissa Collazo	Melissa Collazo	...	Ryler Kelly Lamor Wilson	Kelly Lamor Wilson	...	Ginny Hannah Russell	Hannah Russell	...	Cheerleader Dana Drori	Dana Drori	...	Maggie Celeste O'Connor	Celeste O'Connor	...	Nyla Charles Green	Charles Green	...	Frank Patti Schellhaas	Patti Schellhaas	...	Teacher Deja Dee	Deja Dee	...	Karla Parsley

Release date: November 13, 2020
Running time: 101 minutes
Starring: Kathryn Newton, Vince Vaughn, Alan Ruck
Directed By: Christopher Landon

From the director of Happy Death Day, which took a humorous, horror spin on Groundhog Day comes Freaky, which does the same with the Freaky Friday formula.  In Freaky, Millie (Newton) is a normal high school girl dealing with being a teenage and the pressures of that time.  And on top of that she now has to worry about a serial killer known as the Blissfield Butcher (Vaughen) who is terrorizing the area.  And after a particularly weird night, the two swap bodies and discovery that they have less than 24 hours before the change becomes permanent.  

Courtney Andujar	...	associate producer Jason Blum	...	producer Greg Gilreath	...	executive producer Adam Hendricks	...	producer Zac Locke	...	executive producer Jennifer Scudder Trent	...	co-producer Ryan Turek
Freaky is a mix of both horror, teen drama, and humorous elements.  They come together wonderfully with the same type of irreverent style that was present in Happy Death Day.  The film definitely starts with good horror elements and some brutal scenes.  But after the initial shock, it settles into more of a humorous teenage drama with a few more horror splatters here and there.  Oh, and partway through the film Vince Vaughn and Kathryn Newton completely switch characters.  And what this means is that those two actors have to pull double duty for their roles, each having to portray the other.  Newton has to portray a cold serial killer and Vaughn has to portray a confused teenager.  It is really a sight to see as the actors change their entire mannerisms to accomplish this feat.  
And not only is it impressive, it is hilarious to see.  Some of the lines and actions really are laugh out loud funny.  A lot of the early humor is seeing the jerky, intentionally unnatural way that their newly swapped bodies move, and some of the things that they say to those around them.  And Millie's friends Josh (Misha Osherovich) and Nyla (Celeste O'Connor) were great additions to this cast, adding some much needed diversity and plenty of humor. 

Additionally, Freaky has some really fantastic writing.  It is sharp and clever, and does a great job evoking an exaggerated high school experience.  You have plenty of jokes and quips about dating, crushes, homecoming, colleges; pretty much everything you would expect a teenager to worry about.  Oh, and on top of that they are worried about a serial killer on the loose.  Another similarity with Happy Death Day is that the film has a definite sense of style.  It has an exaggerated color palatte (similar again, to Happy Death Day) with good, strong colors at times and good shot choice.  It makes everything pop and helps to emphasize the humor and teenage drama parts of this film. 

The whole premise of Freaky is entertaining, even for those not into horror.  There are some gory parts in a couple places, but overall it is just an enjoyable scenario and a funny movie.  It is really fun to see this take on a classic Hollywood formula and I am wracking my brain to think of what the next horror-based classic movie riff will be.  But don't get me wrong, the film also has some good horror elements.  Especially during the start and some of the more tense scenes, there are definitely some moments that will make you hold your breath.  And the film has some entertaining and gruesome kill scenes.  But this film is a mash of different genres, bringing together some fantastic elements and sequences from those genres to make a wonderful new whole.

Freaky is a mash up of slasher, humor, and teen drama, with enjoyable performances from Vaughn and Newton in this stylish, entertaining horror take on the body swap film.  

Watch it.
Freaky Freaky Friday Body Swap Horror Humor Teen Teenage High School Magic
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Freaky is in theaters on Friday, November 13.

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