Movie Review: Freaky (2020)
Synopsis: As though her Thursday hadn't been bad enough, bullied teenager Millie is attacked by a serial killer known as The Butcher following a high school pep rally. She survives the attack, however the enchanted dagger he used causes her to switch bodies with him and she has just 24 hours to switch back before the change becomes permanent.
Review: I saw the trailer for this movie a few months ago and was somewhat intrigued by what looked to be a unique take on the whole switched bodies concept that has otherwise been done to death. I ended up getting the film on DVD through Netflix and, after watching it last night, have added it to my list of favorites.
This is a film that, if it had been done even slightly different, could have been unwatchable. However, the writers did a great job of mixing in comedy while staying true to the slasher movie genre. In other words, it was a comedy but, at the same time, also was a relatively decent horror flick as well.
I think the thing I found most entertaining was the way The Butcher (Vaughn) had to adjust after waking up in Millie's (Newton) body. Yes, you had that gratuitous breast grab (which was actually a bit more creepy than funny when you realize Vaughn is 50 and Millie is supposed to be a teenager) but a large part of the reason this film was so entertaining was The Butcher had to overcome a lot of physical short comings (in other words, Millie was kind of small and weak) to continue his killing spree, especially when he took on someone significantly larger than she was. It made some of the scenes funny and a lot more unpredictable.
I am also going to give a lot of credit to Newton and Vaughn in this film. They each had to play two very different characters in this movie and managed to be believable with both. And, let's face it, anyone can play a teenaged girl. Playing a terrifying serial killer without the benefit of a scary mask or lots of makeup is much harder.
As a fan of the horror movie genre, I also will say I liked how the movie paid a subtle (but still noticeable) homage to classic films like Friday the 13th and Halloween. It was a nice added touch and it was done in a way that didn't distract from the plot.
Probably the only thing I can think of that would have made this movie better is it would have been nice to have a couple likeable Butcher victims. Frankly, outside of Millie and her small group of friends, that school seemed to be nothing but bullies, rapists, or a combination of both. It's hard to dislike a horror movie villain when he (or she) is killing people who are just as bad or worse than they are. In fact, even though he tried to kill Millie, I still think some of her classmates (and one teacher) were a lot worse.
Along those same lines, I should also mention this movie does deserve its "R" rating because some of the scenes (including some descriptive talk of a gang rape) are kind of intense. I had no issue with it but it's not something you are going to want to watch when the kids are in the room.
Final Opinion: I wasn't 100 percent sure what to expect when watching this film but it turned out to be an entertaining movie. Again, keep the kids out of the room, but I would recommend taking the time to watch it if you get a chance to do so.
My Grade: A