Starring: Vince Vaughn, Kathryn Newton, Katie Finneran
Director: Christopher Landon
Running Time: 101 mins
Freaky is an American film about a high school girl who switches bodies with a serial killer after being attacked in the night, and must race against time to switch back while the killer goes on a rampage in her body.
This is my kind of horror-comedy. Violent and entertainingly gory when it needs to be, but most of all a funny, charismatic story that never takes itself too seriously. Horror fans will enjoy its genre sensibilities, while general audiences will also be able to palette some of its more hardcore horror tendencies, thanks to a brilliant sense of humour that makes Freaky such great fun to watch.
If this movie were just the slightest bit less funny, it could have been a disaster, and potentially an extremely underwhelming rehash of classic slasher movies. However, that blend of really energetic Hollywood comedy with references to horror classics like The Texas Chainsaw Massacre gives this film enormous charisma and appeal.
Above all, Freaky is a whole lot of fun to watch. As silly as its premise might seem at first, the film does a good job with the body swap concept without getting too caught up in some of the emotional themes that similar films often do to a tedious extent. But above all, it’s the action and horror that makes this movie so entertaining, and the perfect film to sit down with friends and enjoy.
Starting off in thrilling fashion with a brilliantly violent opening sequence, the movie shows its no-holds-barred approach to horror and gore right from the off. Yet, all of its violence is tuned through a comedic but not quite parodic lens, making it fun to laugh at as well as enjoy as a pure horror movie.
It’s a really difficult balance to strike, and there are few movies out there which do it quite as well as Freaky. It’s not a horror parody by any means, but it’s not as ‘scary’ as the opening sequence might make out. Playing out with a cast of entertaining characters in a high school, it’s a light-hearted watch that always surprises with its horror.
It’s a little reminiscent of how Happy Death Day combines horror and comedy, using a familiar setting to achieve wide appeal while playing to the sensibilities of hardcore genre fans too. Of course, Happy Death Day also used its sci-fi premise to great effect, whereas Freaky doesn’t quite have the legs on the screenplay side of things.
It’s a fun watch, and there’s no denying that the dialogue and jokes are pretty good throughout. However, the story itself is fairly plain, and although the simplistic slasher plot is part of its charm, there are times when Freaky does just feel like it’s going through the motions of any generic horror movie.
However, that’s why the comedy is so important, bringing an extra edge to what could have been a painfully generic film and making it thoroughly entertaining. Bolstered by fun performances from Vince Vaughn, Kathryn Newton and more, Freaky is very simply a movie that will really make you laugh, and that’s why I’m giving it a 7.5 overall.