September 17, 2018

VIFF 2018 | Must See BC – Emile Hirsch 'Freaks' Out

Bruce Dern Zach Lipovsky Adam B. Stein | Freaks' Out | VIFF 2018

VIFF 2018—Shot in Vancouver, filmmakers Zach Lipovsky and Adam B. Stein set their secretive supernatural, sci-fi-tinged thriller, elusively titled Freaks, as a mysterious character drama set almost entirely in a single location.

Most superficially summed up as Room meets X-Men, the film takes place mostly in a rundown house on an otherwise pleasant-looking block as a father and his "special" seven-year-old daughter, a dishevelled Emile Hirsch and newcomer Lexy Kolker, struggle with an unknown futuristic threat.

The audience is left in the dark much like Kolker's Chloe who reveals herself to be a strangely superpowered child character of unknown origin. What the post-apocalyptic world or dangers outside exist seem unreliable as more is dramatically revealed about the state of the world beyond the film's intimate setting.

Lexy Kolker Zach Lipovsky Adam B. Stein | Freaks' Out | VIFF 2018

A very creepy Bruce Dern grounds the strange thriller as a snowcone truck vendor. He clearly has more dubious intentions and some sort of connection to the family than first introduced. Amanda Crew really dials it up in a strange but highly stressed performance as a captive woman mentally linked to Chloe's psyche. All the mysterious elements and unknowable character elements keep the audience guessing.

Freaks works mostly as a cryptic showcase for the directors' talents for inventively executing as much superheroic action and style on as low a budget as possible. It's a claustrophobic thriller used to enhance the acting talents of its limited cast while building tension for a building resolution to the supernatural family drama.

Freaks screens at the 2018 Vancouver International Film Festival as part of the Sea to Sky and BC Spotlight streams.

More | YVArcade / io9 / Indiewire / Verge

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