Wednesday, October 27, 2021

Movie Review: Freaky

Stars: 2 out of 5
Pros: Vince Vaughn
Cons: Too predictable, too much going on, not scary, only marginally funny
The Bottom Line:
Comedy slasher
But doesn’t work as either
Tries to do too much

What Could Have Been a Great Premise Doesn’t Work

When I saw the previews for Freaky fall of 2020, I got excited.  It looked like a slasher crossed with a comedy that would be delightful.  Sadly, when I finally got to see the movie, I was disappointed.

Every town has their legend of a deranged serial killer who stalks teens, especially teens who are into drugs and sex.  However, the legend of The Butcher (Vince Vaughn) is true, and he’s returned to town with a vengeance just before Homecoming.  Meanwhile, we also meet Millie (Kathryn Newton), a high school student who is picked on endlessly by other students.  Even some of her teachers pick on her.

When Millie’s path crosses with The Butcher’s, she does her best to fight back, and is surprised when she makes it out alive.  However, the next day, she wakes up to find that they have switched bodies.  With the police searching for The Butcher and Millie going to school with unsuspecting students, will Millie reclaim her body?

Yes, this is Freaky Friday meets Friday the 13th.  As such, it could have been fun.  The problem was, it didn’t quite know what type of movie it wanted to be.  When it was being a comedy, it had some funny moments.  However, it never reached anywhere nears the level of scares or creep it was going for.  Honestly, those scenes would have been better if they had toned them down.

I think the real problem is that the movie was rated R.  However, the tone it was taking required a PG-13 rating.  That would allow us to be entertained and laugh at some of what was happening.  They can even make a creepy movie at PG-13 without all the gore or language.

Or sex.  Honestly, they could have left out the crude sex scenes and the movie would have been stronger.  These were played for laughs, but they didn’t work.

They also try to give us a storyline for Millie that will lead to character development.  That storyline was completely predictable.  That’s never a bad thing in my mind, but here it didn’t work.  It was like we had one too many storylines in the movie, and this one definitely felt forced.  I think Millie having a happy home life would be a better storyline since it would allow for the film to focus on the suspense and comedy without trying to add the drama to the mix.

Vince Vaughn totally makes the movie.  His performance as a teenage girl is hilarious, and I usually run the other way from his movies based on the previews.  This isn’t to take away from Kathryn Newton, but she isn’t given nearly as much to work with.  Likewise, the rest of the cast is fine, but they are all overshadowed by Vince Vaughn.

If theaters in my area had been opened when this hit theaters, I would have gone to see it in person.  I’m glad I didn’t get to see Freaky until it was out for rental.  Even then, I wish I’d caught it on TV and saved even the rental fee.

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