Freaky isn’t the primary horror movie to use the body-swap concept, though it definitely is that the most mainstream horror project to use the classic identity-switch rules to the slasher genre.
Usually, this gag is played for laughs in comedies like The Change-Up (with Ryan Reynolds and Jason Bateman), or classic examples including George Burns’s 18 Again! and Carl Reiner’s All of Me.
Using the formula during a slasher comedy instantly establishes a bottomless well of potential, but little or no of it makes it to the screen in Freaky. Barney Garris goes by the name “The Blissfield Butcher”, though the movie initially treats his legacy as “a campfire yarn” that teenagers don’t really believe – until they find themselves being hunted by this ungainly stalker.
Freaky introduces a magical knife, stolen from the gathering of a dime-store artifact collector, which Garris attempts to use on mild-mannered high-schooler Millie (Kathryn Newton), causing the body swap.
And then… nothing. Freaky goes through all of the expected beats. Millie, within the body of the Blissfield Butcher, must convince her two closest friends (Celeste O’Conner, Misha Osherovich) what went on to her. Barney, in Millie’s body, infiltrates the highschool and causes a touch little bit of mayhem.
The movie assumes it’d be funny to observe Vaughn and Newton playing exaggerated versions of every other, and it are often . But Freaky doesn’t advance the concept, or maybe take full advantage of what should are a true agent of chaos, and that’s unleashing a serial murderer into an unsuspecting school.
Based on its opening act, which involves Vaughn silently hunts a little party of bratty teens through a darkened mansion, Freaky almost tricked me into believing Landon was paying homage to vintage 1980s horror films.
Vaughn’s silent, mask-wearing killer conjures a salient imagery of Jason and Michael, while the lone scene of “backstory” we get on the underdeveloped character – a glimpse into his home when Millie wakes up within the killer’s body ,is a huge chunk of content straight out of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre.
But rather than choosing one genre to spoof (or properly investigate), Freaky throws all kinds of nods against the wall, expecting one among them to stay and take the movie in a stimulating direction. It quite doesn’t.
Freaky has all of the ingredients of a rewarding horror franchise that would leap from scenario to scenario, seeing what percentage odd pairing one could create with this mystical blade and a few unsuspecting victims. But Freaky falters, therefore the premise might need fresher ideas of Blumhouse plans on trying this again.