Staff Writer: David McCallister
One of the last few films to come out this year amid the COVID-19 pandemic is Freaky. Directed by Happy Death Day’s Christopher Landon, the film follows Millie, who after getting murdered by a local serial killer, switches bodies with the killer and must figure out how to get back to her real body.
Just like Landon’s previous films, Freaky is more of a comedy horror than actual horror. Full of jokes that sometimes work and don’t, it’s refreshing to have a horror film that is well made and doesn’t take itself too seriously.
While the humor doesn’t always work, the writing is overall good. There are moments where the film tries to play with heart and emotion but fails as it doesn’t correlate with the story as much until the very end. It becomes a disconnect with the audience.
Freaky has a decent ensemble cast and likable characters. Some feel like generic high school clichés (which is the point), but others like Millie and her friend Josh really push the film forward and make it fun.
The main antagonist, the Butcher, doesn’t have much depth and characterization, it makes up for watching Vince Vaughn play a high school girl in a grown man’s body. It’s the twisted version of Freaky Friday, and it works.
Vince Vaughn and Kathryn Newton give the best performances in the film. Seeing both taking the mannerisms of their counterpart and using physical emotions and actions to make the audience feel like they switched bodies is impressive.
One of the shortcomings of the movie is the pacing. The prologue opens perfectly to set up a self-aware horror, but as the bodies switch, the time slows right up until the final fifteen minutes.
This doesn’t help that with the moments where the film tries to slow down and create heart within, it takes the audience out. The audience is there for the scares and humor, and this didn’t work as well in other films like Happy Death Day.
Editing choices are also confusing in the film. Some moments are done great, while others feel cringy and awkward to watch.
The audience at the theater seemed to enjoy most of the film. It’s incredibly violent, filled with humor and a fun time. It isn’t the best film, but it’s a blast to experience on a first watch.
While Freaky isn’t necessarily a full “horror” film, it is a nice entry into the genre, as most of the scares are predictable and overall, the film feels goofier than terrifying.
Happy Death Day is a great example of how horror comedy works. Landon’s love for comedy and horror is seen in both, but his recent outing doesn’t achieve the heart and memorability that Happy Death Day does. Freaky is a good film. It isn’t worth going out during a pandemic and watching in a theater, but it’s a good time with friends on a Friday night at home (once there is a vaccine).