Freaky; Vince Vaughn Delivers an Entertaining Performance Out of a Satisfying Slasher. Grade: B
Freaky tells a story about a town terrified of a serial killer know as The Butcher (Vince Vaughn), whom just slaughtered a few teenagers the night before. Millie (Kathryn Newton) known as the unpopular kid that doesn’t get noticed often, goes through typical high school life of wanting to date her crush. After the homecoming football game, Millie waits out in the parking lot to be picked up and go home. Unfortunately for Millie... The Butcher is here as he strikes her with a stab wound in the shoulder. Fortunately for Millie she survived... Unfortunately for Millie, the stab wound from the knife has made her and The Butcher switch bodies. Now Millie is inside a 6 foot 4 inch serial killing machine man, while The Butcher is inside a small teenage girl.
The Cinematography was actually not half bad, from a visual standpoint it compliments the campy horror vibe this film is going for. Some of the violent sequences were shot quite well, as it left quite a nice impression on me. The Score was fine, didn’t love nor hate it. The cast all in all was surprisingly solid as a whole, I wasn’t expecting that as I felt the cast did a nice job. Vince Vaughn is certainly the main attraction in this film, as I thought he was great trying to act like a teenage girl. This is quite an impressive performance from not only an acting standpoint, but more so from a comedic standpoint as he delivered many laughs out of me, this is certainly going to be a fan favorite in terms of performances in horror/comedy genre. Kathryn Newton played a fairly fine performance trying to act as a serial killer, trapped in a teenage body. I felt the direction for this character could’ve been done better, as I thought the character should’ve been portrayed as mocking out most acclaimed horror legends like Michael Myers and Jason, where they don’t say a word and they just leave a blank expression. It was early on going for that kind of vibe, but then it switches it up as they allow Newton as The Butcher to deliver dialogue as I felt it didn’t quite work with the mentality of what The Butcher appeared on the inside and outside.
What’s surprising about the cast is that the supporting performances and characters absolutely did a really nice job, as they didn’t come off annoying or obnoxious. Starting off with Millie’s gay best friend Josh played by Misha Osherovich as from the trailers I feared this character was gonna suck, but man oh man was I wrong as this performance and character was flat out entertaining and funny as well. This was a fun character to follow while also delivering many laughs that I wasn’t quite expecting, very nice job. Followed by solid supporting performances/characters from Uriah Shelton, Celeste O’Connor, and a few others coming from the Millie family.
I do have a couple flaws regarding Freaky. I wasn’t a fan of that unnecessary extended ending, I felt that ruined any possibility of a much needed sequel. No spoilers: But the way the film previously looked all but done, I didn’t feel that extended time was not needed at all as it kind of ruined a much well fitting end or even a well fitted cliff hanger. Some jokes didn’t land here or there, I also didn’t think Kathryn Newton appearing to be the unpopular girl that gets bullied for being less attractive was a bunch of nonsense. Even before Newton puts on makeup: She still looks fairly pretty, as I didn’t quite comprehend nor believe she could be in any way be bullied for not being pretty. It’s also worth noting some of the bullying tactics in this film felt very rubbish compared to how bullying is done in modern day.
The interest of Freaky was an up and down slope. At first I was interested due to the well design poster, while also Stephen King heavily praising Vince Vaughn’s performance as he believes it’s Oscar Worthy. But the interest went a little down, as the trailer revealed it’s a knock off of Freaky Friday done in a horror fashion. Plus this was coming from the director of the Happy Death Day movies, as I couldn’t stand the first one which led me to show no interest in the sequel. Plus Blumhouse ya know... It’s Blumhouse, so yes interest on and off for me. But in the end I was willing to give this a shot and what do you know... This was honestly dope.
The story of Freaky is in no means a masterpiece nor original in any way, however it does felt sort of a love letter to those Freaky Friday movies, combined with old school slasher films. You can see early on in the film, as the font displaying “WEDNESDAY THE 11TH” was clearly an homage to the Friday the 13th films. The story is steadily paced, as the plot not original in any way, still stands on it’s own thanks to fun violent sequences while also delivering some surprising solid comedic moments. The slasher horror aspect t’was effective, I was surprised by the graphic violent kills in this film. One effective kill scene reminded much of the horror slasher film Terrifier, doesn’t go all out like Terrifier’s scene absolutely not, but it does remind me of that scene. I was so surprised by the comedy material in this film, as there were more hits than misses. What’s refreshing about the comedy material is almost everyone contributes in delivering laughs, than just Vince Vaughn carrying all the weight. Freaky does a lot of right things here, it’s a very entertaining delightful slasher comedy film, as this was a surprise from Blumhouse and even more so the film maker behind this film as well.
Overall, Freaky was a solid film. I recommend checking this one out, those still scared to go to the theatre, do check it out at the Drive-In... It honestly felt more suitable for the Drive-In believe it or not, have fun! -Mitch Smietana