Luke McWilliams gives his review of the 2020 comedy horror film, Freaky, starring Vince Vaughn and Kathryn Newton.
A group of teenagers partying in a manor are quickly disposed of by a serial killer known as the Blissfield Butcher (Vince Vaughn). Making off with a mystical dagger, the killer soon hunts down the quiet and often-bullied high school student Millie Kessler (Kathryn Newton). Using the dagger to stab Millie, the two shockingly swap bodies!
Inspired by Mary Rodgers’ Freaky Friday, the movie uses the body-swap trope to allow a serial killer and ‘last girl’ to empathise with each other: Millie feels more confident and stronger in the Butcher’s body, while the Butcher feels Millie’s vulnerability and anxiety, simultaneously using her demure, unassuming persona to go about his business unnoticed and unencumbered.
Set around Friday the 13th, Freaky has fun referencing the slasher genre in both Easter eggs and use of tropes: 1980s slasher fans will be pleased with the inventive kills and gore! Like Heathers, there is a sick wish-fulfilment element in the way the Butcher, in the body of the mild Millie, gets even with her high school tormentors!
Freaky stands out in its use of the slasher genre to explore issues of gender and sexuality. Whilst in the gruesome form of the Butcher, Millie still finds the opportunity to connect with her crush purely on personality alone. Via the body swap experience, Millie is unavoidably set on the path of getting some hard-earned self-confidence.
Verdict: A surprisingly strong and enjoyable horror comedy which celebrates its horror/slasher tropes while still delivering laughs. 3.5 stars.
- Luke McWilliams | themovieclub.net