November 12, 2020

GENRE | Body-Swapping Murder – Vince Vaughn Gets 'Freaky'

"I want my body back."
Vince Vaughn Kathryn Newton Christopher Landon | Blumhouse Freaky
Universal Pictures / Blumhouse
Happy Death Day director Christopher Landon riffs amusingly on the Freaky Friday-esque body-swapping formula with an entertaining slasher twist. Freaky stars Vince Vaughn and Kathryn Newton as a pair of strangers, a serial killer called the "Blissfield Butcher" and a high school outsider, who switch bodies for a mismatched but very humorous bent on the horror genre's well-worn conventions.

Produced by Jason Blum, Landon tells his scary story of comedy/horror economically with key precision thanks in large part to the dynamic casting of his leads. Landon and co-writer Michael Kennedy's script sets things off by introducing a mystical artifact in a knife called "La Dola" as the buy-in to explain both the murderous body-swap of a premise.

From there, the audience gets a mixture of the usual, but inventive take, on slasher flick meets self-aware teen movie (think Scream). Vaughn and Newton get to stretch their acting talents by playing each other's archetypical characters with the former relishing playing an awkward teenage girl just as the latter gets to be uncharacteristically menacing in an almost Terminator-like fashion in a diminutive body frame.

Freaky is far more fun (violent fun, no less) than expected. It works as both polished lo-fi slasher horror and a familiar studio body-swap comedy hybrid while twisting on each type of fare. In particular, the self-aware film relishes in its absurd supernatural premise with knowing twists that only enhance its top-notch silliness.


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