Over the years, there have been plenty of takes on the switching bodies scenario, but I think the 2020 release Freaky may be the first I’ve seen where one of the bodies belongs to a serial killer.
Freaky stars Vince Vaughn as that killer, known as The Butcher. In attempting to kill the teenage Millie (played by Kathryn Newton), he accidentally uses a magical dagger that causes the two to switch bodies.
Millie has 24 hours to switch the bodies back, or the change will be permanent. She also has to do it in The Butcher’s body, which every cop in town is looking for.
Freaky worked for me on several levels.
First is the general switch plot, which creates a lot of hilarity, especially when Millie tries to convince her besties she’s inside The Butcher’s body. Her BFF’s, Nyla and Josh (Celeste O’Connor and Misha Osherovich) are whip-smart and full of sassy zingers.
Second, this is very much a horror film in the slasher sub-genre. There are several kills before the opening credits, and they’re quite gruesome…and even a bit inventive. The gruesomeness continues throughout the film.
Third, speaking of horror, there are several easter eggs and references sprinkled throughout the film. So many that repeated viewing is required to fully appreciate them all.
Fourth, there are several heart-to-hearts that actually address grief and loneliness that you wouldn’t expect in a comedy or a horror, but are just right for the moments they occur.
Finally, the components of the film work well together. It’s got a fun script (a bit raunchy at times), and the casting is great, especially Vaughn as a high school girl and Newton who aptly plays both a shy teen and a vicious serial killer.
I loved Freaky, and not only is it my favorite horror film of 2020, it may end up on my Best of 2020 overall list.
Director: Christopher Landon
Cast: Vince Vaughn, Kathryn Newton, Celeste O’Connor, Misha Osherovich, Uriah Shelton, Katie Finneran
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