Taking the classic Freaky Friday storyline and injecting a horror-comedy-slasher element works well for Freaky, a film that showcases Vince Vaughn at his recent best, but fails to sustain the laughs and intrigue.
When infamous serial killer the Butcher (Vaughn) sets his eyes on his next victim, teenager Millie Kessler (Kathryn Newton), his attempt at murder goes wrong as the mystical dagger he uses as a weapon result in the two transferring bodies. Now Mille (through the Butcher) must find a way to reverse the transfer by midnight or the switch will remain permanent. Freaky doesn’t reinvent the wheel, it simply adapts it for the genre in a strange mashup of the aforementioned Freaky Friday and the classic Scream. In fact, the methods of killing showcased in the first moments of the film and then sprinkled throughout are reminiscent of Ghostface’s best improvisations, even when they lean a little towards the ridiculous. Newton delivers a mild-mannered performance in the role, especially entertaining when going mad as the Butcher. Vaughn is a delight on screen as he plays into the generic teenage girl vibes, though it is hard not to compare him to Jack Black who so masterfully did the same in Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle.
Writer/director Christopher Landon is no stranger to this type of genre combination (having helmed the Happy Death Day films), though Freaky could have done with more attention on the actual story. The filmmaker relies on the main gimmick of the body switch the carry the film, never diving deeper than surface level as to how or why it actually happened. The script itself is rather light on story development, instead jumping from scene to scene and forcing viewers to simply accept what is happening (the setting of the climax, in particular).
Still, Freaky is a solidly fun time that will elicit some cackles here and there, a welcome respite from current reality. I wouldn’t hate seeing a sequel.
Freaky is available to rent on VOD today.
Photo from Movie Nation