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  • Freaky ⋆⋆⋆⋆

Film

Freaky ⋆⋆⋆⋆

A self-aware twist on Freaky Friday that ends up as a pleasant horror-comedy surprise.

Image for Freaky ⋆⋆⋆⋆

Freaky (Blumhouse Productions)

Christopher Landon (Happy Death Day) puts a self-aware twist on Freaky Friday to tell the story of Millie, a teenage girl who supernaturally body-swaps with the Blissfield Butcher, a deranged middle-aged male serial killer. As if that wasn’t life-alteringly shit news, she’s been slapped with a deadline: switch back within 24 hours otherwise the new bodies are for keeps…

Starring and Kathryn Newton and Vince Vaughn, whose scene-stealing, go-for-broke performance as a teenage girl could be his best to date, Freaky perfectly blends horror and comedy to function as both a classic slasher and John Hughes-like coming-of-age tale. Unashamed about its influences (Friday the 13th is a major touchstone), it’s exuberantly silly and unexpectedly inventive in both its OTT kills and character development. One scene in particular, which sees Millie-in-Butcher-form share a kiss with her teen crush, is surprisingly tender and shows to what extent this spin on the body-swap template isn’t content with lazily falling back on the classic tropes; it actually has something to cheekily say about bodies and desire, elevating it to the ranks of its subgenre-neighbours Face/Off and Makoto Shinkai’s stunning body-swap animation Your Name. And even if some viewers will titter at some post-Scream meta-dialogue, the ride remains too wildly entertaining to care. Go get your freak on.

Freaky / Directed by Christopher Landon (US, 2020), with Kathryn Newton, Vince Vaughn. Starts July 1.