Freaky (2020) movie review
On a fatal Friday the 13th, high school student Millie becomes the latest victim of a masked killer known as the Blissfield Butcher. But when the killer strikes, the two wake up in each others bodies the next morning. It’s Freaky Friday (2003), but a horror film. Brought to you by the guy who made Groundhog Day (1993) but a horror film!
Look this review should be really simply. If you’ve seen a horror comedy and liked it, you’ll probably like Freaky. If you saw Happy Death Day (2017) and liked it, you might see Freaky as just another version of the same film. You’ll still laugh. If you don’t like horror movies, comedies, or the awkward lovechild that is Freaky, there’s not much for you here. I’m Option #2. Wait that was Happy Death Day? Yeah that.
Look we’ve seen horror but self aware, we’ve seen horror but flipped, we’ve seen horror but a conspiracy, we’ve seen horror but a musical, etcetera, etcetera, etcetera. So honestly, a body swap horror film is somehow a unique idea in a subgenre that has checked alot of boxes so far! And I cannot give this film enough credit for its originality. That said it feels scarily similar to Happy Death Day, and I enjoyed that movie to death! (Okay no more horror descriptors.) So as good as the story in freaky is, I think there’s one key thing Happy Death Day did better: tone.
Both films are really funny. However from the very beginning Happy Death Day dedicates itself to being a comedy and rarely veers from that path. Freaky tries to be both a horror movie and a comedy, which at times makes the film feel conflicted. The film takes a while to actually get funny, opting for a horror opening instead. I just praised Empty Man (2020) for its strong horror setup, but I wasn’t waiting thirty minutes to laugh in Empty Man. On top of that, I think Freaky overstays its welcome just a little. I get it, horror movie’s gotta horror movie, but it felt like going for the cheese on the wrapper after you finish the sandwich only to get a bite or paper. Or something like that.
Still, I have to admit that Freaky is really funny! And there are exactly two things that make this movie for me: Vince Vaughn playing a high school girl trapped in the body of a serial killer and Kathryn Newton playing a serial killer trapped in the body of a high school girl. Sure the writing should get some credit, both gosh this film would fall flat if it weren’t for these two! Vaughn never holds back, delivering a consistently hilarious performance down to the way he runs, while Newton perfectly shows off the awkward nature of a sheep on wolf’s clothing. Wait the other way around. Anyway, there are even a few surprisingly sincere moments that Vaughn has to pull off, and they kinds work! You’d think this is where the strange nature of the film breaks the sincerity, but it manages to push through!
Grated there are some questions that constantly crossed my mind about the way the film works when it comes to internal logic, and these questions didn’t really get answers. I know movies have to movie, but Happy Death Day didn’t really try to jump through hoops to make its premise work. Every now and then I couldn’t help notice how convenient or inconvenient things were. And I know it’s a horror movie! But that’s why I wish it weren’t bookended with a lack of comedy. If Freaky had dedicated itself to being a comedy first, I think the self-aware nature of the film would have shined much more than it does. Instead it just feels inconsistent.
So overall, I liked Freaky, but I didn’t love it. It was really funny, and the two lead performances absolutely make this film! But beyond that and the original story, there wasn’t much else that stood out. The conflict of tone hurts the pacing, and while the film does for for some heartfelt moments, I don’t think they had a huge payoff. So here’s the deal, if you have a theater open near you, Freaky is a fun time! I would say go check it out unless you don’t care about it based on the trailer. That said if you are on the fence, I understand waiting until it’s out on digital. 6/10.
So Freaky? Have you seen it? What did you think? And what is your all-time favorite horror comedy and why? Be sure to leave us a like or a comment below and let us know! And if you liked this review and you want to read more like it, let us know what you’d like us to review next!
-review by Ryan Prince