Director: Christopher Landon
Cast: Vince Vaughn, Kathryn Newton, Katie Finneran
Release Date: February 9, 2021
A Review By: Kevin Lovell
Film Rating: 9/10
Disc Rating: 7.5/10
Prepare for a Freaky take on the body-swap movie which only Blumhouse (makers of Happy Death Day & The Purge Franchises) could bring: a teenage girl switches bodies with a relentless serial killer! High school senior Millie (Kathryn Newton, Blockers, HBO’s Big Little Lies) is just trying to survive being the unpopular kid when she becomes The Butcher’s (Vince Vaughn) next target. Their fateful encounter gets twisted and they wake up in each other’s bodies. Now looking like a towering psychopath, Millie learns she only has 24 hours to reverse the curse and get her body back before the switch becomes permanent and she’s trapped in the form of a middle-aged maniac forever.
Please Note: Universal Pictures Home Entertainment provided me with a free copy of the Blu-ray I reviewed in this Post. The opinions I share are my own.
The classic body-swap tale gets a killer twist in ‘Freaky’ which tells the wild story of ordinary teenage girl Millie (Netwon) who is unlucky enough to end another miserable day by being attacked and stabbed by dangerous serial killer “The Butcher” (Vaughn). Unfortunately, the next doesn’t look much better after each awaken to discover that the mystical blade he used caused them to swap bodies. Now, Millie must try and enlist the help of her friends while being forced to walk around in a wanted killer’s body, while the killer himself embraces his new and innocent looking body, perfect for wreaking havoc at Millie’s school. And if everything wasn’t bad enough already, they soon discover that if they can’t reacquire the blade and reconstruct the stabbing before midnight the change will become permanent.
Directed by Christopher Landon (Happy Death Day, Scouts Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse) from a screenplay that he additionally co-wrote with Michael Kennedy (TV’s Bordertown), Landon does a fantastic job at the helm of ‘Freaky’ perfectly balancing the wild, horror-level violence with the body-swap fun and humor throughout. The film also owes a huge amount of credit to the capable cast which includes Vince Vaughn (Dragged Across Concrete), Kathryn Newton (Blockers), Katie Finneran (TV’s Brockmire), Celeste O’Connor (Wetlands), Misha Osherovich (The Goldfinch), Alan Ruck (TV’s Succession) and more, the majority each delivering solid performances for the most part in their respective roles, with Vaughn and Newton in particular doing a remarkable job on both sides of their performances and really excelling this one to something magnificent.
‘Freaky’ is a wild, gruesome and hilarious good time that serves up nonstop fun, chaos and laughs from start to finish. Creating a mashup of the popular body switch formula and slasher movies over the years and utilizing a handful of remarkably clever ways to pay homage to both genres while creating something unique, humorous and rewarding at the same time that only manages to exceed expectations every step of the way. The truly magical element that really makes ‘Freaky’ work so flawlessly is the brilliant casting of leads Vince Vaughn and Kathryn Newton who each defy expectations on both ends of their performances, as Vaughn offers a creepy performance from the onset as a sadistic serial killer and not long thereafter manages to capture the mannerisms and characteristics of a teenage girl so magnificently that his performance alone is responsible for many of the film’s biggest laughs; while Newton is equally impressive transforming from the unpopular teen into a fierce and emotionless killer with apparent ease. When mixed with the brilliant concept and formula as well as the perfect guidance of director Christopher Landon, it proves a splendid recipe for a great time that never slips or becomes even the slightest bit dull along the way. I would thoroughly encourage anyone that appreciates a great horror comedy to make a definite point of giving ‘Freaky’ a whirl at your earliest convenience if you haven’t yet had the pleasure of this bloody and hilarious gem. It’s a brilliant, brutal and hilarious horror comedy that’s not to be missed.
Overall, ‘Freaky’ is an absolute treat from start to finish. A clever new take on the body switch comedy formula merged with a brutal slasher film right down to the gory and intricate death sequences, ‘Freaky’ adds filmmaker Christopher Landon to the mix along with the perfectly selected pair of Vince Vaughn and Kathryn Newton on top of it and the end result is one of 2020’s most enjoyable offerings by far. I can’t possibly recommend ‘Freaky’ strongly enough, especially to fans of clever horror comedy mashups and anyone that enjoyed Landon’s ‘Happy Death Day’ films who are almost guaranteed to have an absolute blast with this one, as will fans of Vaughn and Newton who are both phenomenal on each side of their performances. I would strongly suggest not ignoring this ridiculously fun ride, it should definitely be well worth the price of rental at the absolute least.
The Blu-ray release of ‘Freaky’ features a full 1080p High Definition presentation with the film’s original 2.39:1 Cinemascope Aspect Ratio. The video presentation looks pretty good for the most part, delivering a generally satisfying presentation that’s sharp and nicely detailed from start to finish, with rich, vibrant colors throughout. It does suffer from a noticeable amount of video noise which you can get an idea of in the last screenshot at the bottom of the review. While the noise can occasionally be mildly distracting on backgrounds and smoother surfaces, the presentation still delivers nicely in most respects and should please the film’s fans that are anxious to physically own this bloody and hilarious horror comedy gem. Overall, this is a pretty solid high definition video presentation that should largely satisfy.
The Blu-ray release features a 5.1 channel DTS-HD Master Audio Soundtrack. This multichannel soundtrack is magnificent and offers a clean, crisp and wildly aggressive audio presentation throughout. It constantly takes full advantage of all five available channels in order to send music, action and scare effects, along with nature content, bits of dialogue and a whole lot more regularly whipping throughout the various speakers while making certain that no dialogue or other audio elements that might be occurring simultaneously become distorted or rendered inaudible in the process. Overall, this is a magnificent and hard hitting 5.1 DTS-HD MA soundtrack that never disappoints and repeatedly contributes some extra fun to the overall viewing experience.
The Blu-ray release of ‘Freaky’ includes a handful of nice extras that fans of the film should enjoy. Included on the release is an ‘Audio Commentary with Co-Writer/Director Christopher Landon’, in addition to a few ‘Deleted Scenes’ from the movie (running approximately 5 minutes in length altogether) and a few brief Behind the Scenes Featurettes that include interviews/comments with the cast and crew, plus behind the scenes footage and more. The included Featurettes are ‘Split Personalities: Millie vs. The Butcher’ (running approximately 2 minutes in length), ‘Crafting the Kills’ (running approximately 3 minutes), ‘Christopher Landon’s Brand of Horror’ (approximately 2 minutes) and ‘Final Girl Reframed’ (3 minutes).
*Please note that the above images are taken from the Blu-Ray and resized. They will additionally suffer quality loss as a result of .jpg compression. Larger versions of each image can be viewed by clicking on the image. All images and content included on this Blu-Ray release are the property of their respective owners.
Film Rating: 9/10
Disc Rating: 7.5/10
‘Freaky’ is Now Available to Own on Blu-ray, DVD & Digital from Blumhouse & Universal Pictures Home Entertainment
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