Vince Vaughn and Kathyrn Newton come together to show us all that slasher films can indeed be scary and funny at the same time.
Due to COVID-19 restrictions in the UK, Freaky was delayed until 2nd July 2021. However, it was worth the wait. This slasher comedy fits perfectly into the modern revival of the genre that keeps in tandem with others such as Happy Death Day (2017) and The Babysitter (2017).
Directed by Christopher Landon (Paranormal Activity 2-4 and Happy Death Day), this film was in the right hands to make Freaky a success. Taking a twist on the classic story of Freaky Friday, the film centres on a teenage girl, Millie (Kathryn Newton), who unintentionally switches bodies with a middle-aged male serial killer, the Blissfield Butcher (Vince Vaughn), on Thursday the 12th of October.
Landon relies less on jump scares to shock audiences and more on creative deaths as well as plenty of fake blood to go along with them. From the jocks to a horrible teacher, their deaths are cathartic. Yes, we all can imagine some people we’d love to see this happen to.
Inspired by classic teen slasher films like Scream (1996) and Cherry Falls (2000), there is a lot going on in Freaky that pays homage to its predecessors. The Consequence of Sound‘s Ryan Larson stated that ‘with an incredible supporting cast and two engaging leads, Freaky is an out and out blast that finds Landon inching closer and closer to slasher masters like Wes Craven and John Carpenter.’ The film is cleverly aware of horror tropes e.g. the gay or black person dies first, and subverts expectations to make heroes out of these characters.
As the Butcher continues his murderous rampage at the local high school, the official homecoming cancelled. Unbeknown to the school, the Butcher and Millie have switched bodies and a new dance is to be held at an old mill – the serial killer’s hiding place. With voodoo possessed knives, body-switching and a taste for blood, what could possibly go wrong?
Overall, Freaky is a critical success, with praise directed at Vaughn and Newton’s performances as well as the blend of horror and comedy. Newton’s performance was believable and explores grief convincingly, but it is Vaughn’s performance that steals the show. Who would have thought that Vaughn could convince us all that there was a 16-year-old inside a 51-year-old man’s body?! His duality of a serial killer and teen girl plays with the boy-obsessed teen girl stereotype but subverts this to expose just how badass Millie is. Overall, Freaky is an exciting addition to horror comedy genre.
Freaky, directed by Christopher Landon, is available to see at cinemas now, rated 15.