Movie Review: Freaky

By Andrew McManus - Contributing Columnist

Directed by Christopher Landon

Starring: Vince Vaughn, Kathryn Newton, Misha Osherovich, Celeste O’Conner, Uriah Shelton, Dana Drori

Runtime: 103 Minutes

Rating: R (for strong bloody horror violence, sexual content, and language throughout)

I know I said last week we would be done with the horror genre for a while but I spoke too soon! This week we watched a movie called Freaky. I watched the trailer and it started as your typical “body-switch” film. I wasn’t excited but then I realized the star of this film: VINCE VAUGHN. We know him from numerous comedies. (Wedding Crashers is a CLASSIC!) I also liked the director/writer of this film. Christopher Landon has done a few “funny” horror movies recently. Happy Death Day and Happy Death Day 2 were surprisingly refreshing when it came to horror movies. I did worry that this would be cliché as most horror films are but I was optimistic with the cast.

Onto the film.

We open with “menacing” music. Immediately you’re put into the “scary movie” vibe. We then see a title reading WEDNESDAY THE 11th. The font immediately reminded me of Friday the 13th. My curiosity was peaked. We get the classic young adults drinking and telling urban legends. They mention the Blissfield Butcher (Vaughn.) He started his reign of terror in 1977. All of the kids complain that it isn’t real and just an urban legend. They are wrong. One by one the kids are killed and the deaths are GRUESOME. Immediately my jaw hit the floor and I realized this wouldn’t be your typical slasher film.

We then see our film’s title. Freaky. We also realize with the next title it is THURSDAY the 12th. You see where this is going. We meet the film’s heroine named Millie (Newton) She’s a senior in high school and here is where the film gets a tad cookie-cutter. She is bullied at school, doesn’t have a lot of friends (namely 2 named Josh and Nyla) and has a crush on a boy named Booker she is always too shy to talk to. Rumors begin to swirl that 4 teens were killed the night before and the killer was on the loose. Everyone starts to say the Blissfield Butcher is back. Of course no-one believes this.

We will skip ahead in the plot and cut to the point. (No pun intended) The butcher (Vaughn) gets Millie (Newton) and stabs her with a dagger he found the night before. Both victim and killer acquire a wound on their shoulder from the blade. He runs off as Millie’s sister (a cop) chases him off! We then see the title one more time. FRIDAY THE 13TH. Both of their conscious/souls have switched bodies. We see “Millie” wake up in the Butcher’s body and vice versa. This is where the film shines. Vince Vaughn played the killer well, menacing and creepy. Now he plays a 17-year-old girl trapped in his body. He shrieks, complains of his odor, and doesn’t realize the strength “he” now has. This is also a compliment to Kathryn

Newton’s character Millie. She plays Millie as the butcher. The timid girl you saw, in the beginning, has transformed into a menacing character. Everyone thinks she’s COOL now!

The film goes back and forth between comedy and horror. The deaths are many and each one is honestly shocking. I realized why this was rated R. I feel without Covid delaying releases this would have been a huge hit in October (It still was number 1 at the box office this week.)

For a movie that felt like it would be one we’ve seen over and over again, I was pleasantly surprised. This was solely based on the two leads. I thought if another actor portrayed the role that Vince Vaughn encompassed it wouldn’t have worked as well. Both leads help elevate a generic plot. There wasn’t a lot to do. I made notes of this at the end of the film. It takes place over 24 hours but there really isn’t much to go off of. We get scenes of different murders and obviously humor across the board but the “filler” scenes fell flat. I realize this film was taking cheesy horror and running with it, but that also fell flat at times. Aside from the main cast, I felt the supporting characters were rather weak and one-dimensional. We do get a few “heart-felt” moments and I see the subliminal message about believing in yourself, but it wasn’t enough to make this film a true classic. If you’re a fan of Vince Vaughn go see this film. He hasn’t been this funny in years and I truly enjoyed the twist on how he usually plays characters. The run-time isn’t too long and it will give you a pause from everything going on today. There is no political talk, or global pandemic talk. Just a nice break from life. That’s what going to the movies is all about. PLEASE go support local business. Wear your mask and social distance. 3 stars out of 5.

By Andrew McManus

Contributing Columnist

This writer’s opinion is their own and not the opinion of this newspaper

This writer’s opinion is their own and not the opinion of this newspaper