Is Freaky (2020), a slasher movie by Christopher Landon worth watching?
Updated: Jun 27, 2022
Let's imagine a scenario, shall we? Imagine this - There’s a serial killer in your town and he has been killing a lot of people lately and has become a sort of an urban legend. But suddenly one day, you face this killer and when he tries to kill you, you don’t die, instead you swap bodies with him. Now, the killer is in your body and you are in his. What will you do? How will you get your body back? And most importantly, how will you adjust to the body of a serial killer? THIS, is the basic plotline of the movie, Freaky, which in fact is a twisted version of Freaky Friday.
Freaky is a horror/slasher-comedy movie by Christopher Landon. I first got to know about Landon and his work through ‘Scouts Guide to Zombie Apocalypse’ which was a good entertaining zombie movie. But his ‘Happy Death Day (HDD)’ franchise is what made me a fan of his work. His movies have a perfect balance of horror and comedy (sci-fi and comedy in case of HDD) and Freaky is no exception.
Freaky is an in-and-out fun movie. This movie was not made to be ground-breaking or to provide something exceptional but rather it was meant to be entertaining and it surely sticks to that. It’s a complete 100-minute enjoyable ride. Landon took a generic plot, added twists, thrills, humour and made such a blast of a movie. And this is highly commendable, it is not easy to take an already well-used story and make it THIS interesting but kudos to the writers for adding such layers and elements to the movie which protect it from getting bleak.
But every movie has its share of pros and cons and so does Freaky. Some things in the movie were applaudable while some could have been improved. So, let's analyze and discuss what makes Freaky both good or bad.
What’s Good in Freaky?
Vince Vaughn is the standout thing of the whole movie. He perfectly embodied the role of both, the serial killer Blissfield Butcher and shy high-school student Millie. Especially, his portrayal of a something 40 aged man with a brain of a teenager is as hilarious and crazy as it can get. Every time he is on the screen, he just shines.
Kathryn Newton also delivers an applaudable performance. She looks really nerdy as Millie and pretty terrifying as Butcher. She keeps that kind of a silent killer look on her face as butcher which just amplifies her role and helps her to get into the shoes of the serial killer.
Supporting cast: Celeste O’Connor and Misha Osherovich as Millie’s 2 best friend are really good in this movie. Most of the comedic scenes in the movie arise when they are on the screen with Vince Vaughn. Dana Drori as Millie’s sister and Uriah Shelton as Millie’s crush are as fine as they can get. Overall, the acting department is top-notch with every actor delivering a very satisfactory performance.
Within the first 10 minutes, the film introduces us to the amazing camera-work it is capable of delivering. The opening sequence is so wonderfully crafted and choreographed that it will remind you of those stylish slasher movies, you loved to watch. And Lourie Ross (cinematographer) tries to maintain this quality throughout the whole movie.
I really loved that stabbing scene, the scene where Butcher first stabbed Millie with La Dola. The VFX and the Camera Movement in that scene is so well-done, it really felt like something big and mystical is happening.
3. Slasher and Gore Element
Freaky at its heart is a slasher movie. So, there has to be gore because without gore and blood, you can’t really classify a movie as a “Slasher”, can you? And Freaky more or less sticks to this slasher genre. The titular character being a serial killer, kills someone from time to time throughout this movie.
The gore of all these killings is fine, at some scenes I felt it could’ve been improved considering the ‘R’ rating of this movie, but still it does the job. The execution of the killing sequences is also handled well with appropriate amount of thrills embedded.
What most slasher comedies lack in their screenplay, the Freaky makes up for it. Yes, I’m talking about thrills. Landon clearly understands the importance of thrill in these types of movies, so he makes sure that the audience frequently get that adrenaline rush within them. Even the ending and its twist maintain this thrill factor.
Moreover, the screenplay of certain scenes is so well done that it will keep you at the edge of your seat. Despite being a comedy movie, it has very fine proportions of thrill in it. So, if you're thriller fan then you will have a good time watching this movie.
5. The Climax and Ending
I don’t know if this could be a spoiler, but if you are familiar with this genre, you would have already guessed the ending of this movie. But still, Landon manages to surprise. He knows how to defy expectations of the audience and surprise them at a very unexpected moment with a good twist. He adds a thing in the climax which just makes it so satisfying. I won’t talk about this much because I am trying to keep this review spoiler free, but still you know, the climax is good.
What could have been a little better in Freaky?
If you’ve seen a good amount of slasher or horror movies in general, you would find the overall plot a little generic. What I mean is, the plot won’t blow your mind right away, rather it is simple, stays to the point and doesn’t wander around. No, I’m not saying it is bad, because it isn’t, the makers have tried every possible way to keep the plot entertaining, and that worked, it never bored me. But still at few places, I realized that things could have been a little better.
2. Cliché and Stereotypes
There are good amounts of Clichés in this movie. It’s just common and a little stereotypical to make the protagonist a nerdy geek girl who at some point will be bullied by a popular jock girl, and just has 2 friends, one of them being gay and obviously one of her parents would be dead. Come on Man, it was 2020, you could’ve done better.
Even the big bad, the Blissfield Butcher was stereotypical. He has this weird fetish of killing everyone without any reason or motivation. I know, most of the serial killers in this movie are portrayed this way but a bit information about him could’ve done wonders in this movie.
3. Backstory of the Antagonist
The Butcher who is antagonist of the movie, did not have a backstory. Just a few lines of dialogues at the start convey some information about his past and that’s all, no more talks about it. But I guess that is okay, the story was never about Butcher, it was about the body swap. I understand there was time constraint and Landon didn’t want to make the movie long, but still something more than dialogue would’ve been good for backstory which in turn could've solidify Butcher as a character.
So, these were some things which I liked and ‘not’ liked in Freaky. But not everyone’s opinion is same. The things which worked for me, might not work for you. So now, I want to try and analyze who might or might not enjoy this movie?
Who will enjoy Freaky?
Those who want to have a good and entertaining time without thinking much harder.
Those who like slasher comedy movies and want to see some refreshing take on the genre.
People who like comedy thriller or horror comedies.
Fans of Vince Vaughn or Christopher Landon’s work.
Who might dislike Freaky?
Those who have problems with little clichés and stereotypes.
People who don’t like gore or slasher genre in general and who feel uncomfortable at the mere sight of blood.
If you’re in mood for some mind-blowing, extraordinary plot filled movie.
Freaky can be an excellent entertaining watch, if you don’t mind some loose bits. On one hand, the performances are good, thrill and humour are well balanced while on the other hand some clichés and an underdeveloped villain pulls down the movie a little bit. But still if you’re into slasher-comedy genre, then you wouldn’t want to miss this movie. It is one of the most entertaining slasher comedy movies I've seen in a while.
You can rent or buy Freaky on Amazon Prime Video - Click Here
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