If there was a film released in 2020 that nobody asked for, or even wanted, it would be Freaky. The wafer-thin plot and wooden acting perfectly encapsulate the cheesy, B-movie tones of ‘80s cinema. However, this is the whole point and what director Christopher Landon has clearly set out to achieve.
If you don’t approach Freaky as the comedy that it is, you won’t take a lot from this seemingly dull flick. The beauty behind Freaky is its tendency of not taking itself too seriously. Instead, the film pays a constant homage to many of the classic horror films of our childhoods. With the occasional nod to movies like Halloween, Freaky piles on the nostalgia throughout.
Freaky Occurrences in Blissfield Valley
After brutally murdering four teenagers, the infamous Blissfield Butcher steals an Aztec ritualistic knife called “La Dola”. Unbeknownst to him, the knife contains hidden powers he is yet to discover and goes on the hunt for his next victim.
High school wallflower, Cassie Kessler, soon becomes the Butcher’s next intended victim as he attacks her after a school football game. Cassie takes a blow to the shoulder with the enchanted knife and the souls of murderer and victim switch bodies.
Helped by her two friends, Cassie needs to retrieve the knife from the police’s evidence room and find the Blissfield Butcher before the change becomes permanent. All the while inside the body of the monster.
As hackneyed and unoriginal as the storyline suggests, Freaky is surprisingly fun. Vince Vaughn (Wedding Crashers and Dodgeball star) is an absolute delight in his role as a squeamish high school girl trapped in a brutal killer’s body. The girlish screams and the girly quirks Vaughn portrays are superbly done and really bolster the comedy element.
As expected, Freaky is as cheesy as they come but that’s the very charm of the film. By not taking itself too seriously, Freaky has made this into a fun ride, with a magnitude of laugh-out-loud moments and disguised comedy prowess.
With the high school wallflower, the gay best friend and the token black girl as the central characters; Freaky never hides from what it set out to do. Rather than becoming tedious; the clichés and the platitudes only add to the whole “fun not fear” vibe of the quirky movie.
A Pacey Start with a Slow Follow-Through
The first few minutes of Freaky promise a pacey, non-stop gorefest. With four gruesomely brutal – albeit ridiculously cheesy – murders inside the first fifteen minutes, you come to the fair conclusion that it’s a movie with pace; one that won’t have many dull moments. However, try not to expect too much in terms of pace from Freaky. After this short-lived killing spree, Freaky is peppered with slow moments; at times, I found myself willing the movie to wrap-up and conclude.
With a run-time of 108 minutes, Freaky could have been a little shorter. At times, it feels like the writer and director were just filling space with unnecessary scenes to increase the longevity of the movie. Furthermore, the needless fluff was often boring.
If you’re looking for a horror film to scare, then you won’t find what you need in Freaky. Given the very premise of the story, it’s hard to see how it could have been executed in a way that would have made this any more than the mediocre flick it transpired to be. However, as a comedy it does come with its moments that will suit your needs.
As long as you can take Freaky at face value then you will no doubt find Freaky a wholly enjoyable experience, one that while, at times, can seem to stretch the limits of feature-length, can still be enjoyed as a tongue-in-cheek comedy that definitely warrants at least one viewing.