Christopher Landon found success when he turned Groundhog’s Day into a horror film with Happy Death Day and its sequel, Happy Death Day 2U and now he’s applying that horror twist to his latest film Freaky using the body swapping Freaky Friday as its base. It’s a humorously horrifying film that features the best of both genres, propelled by a brilliant performance from Vince Vaughn as a highschool girl inside the body of a murderous psychopath. What’s not to love?
It’s homecoming week for Blissfield High School and unfortunately there is also a serial killer on the loose stalking students. After already murdering four victims, the coined Blissfield Butcher (Vince Vaughn) now sets his sights on the reserved Millie Kessler (Kathryn Newton). During his last killing spree he picked up an antique knife, unaware of its curse that switches the bodies of the staber and stabee. Following their frightful encounter, Millie now finds herself waking up inside the body of a 50-year-old serial killer with only 24 hours to reverse the curse and get her old body back.
The whole Freaky Friday concept works supremely well for the horror genre, and Christopher Landon once again brings the screams and the laughs to the screen thanks to Vince Vaughn’s ability to step into the mind of a highschool teenager. As the Blissfield Butcher he can be as cold and menacing as Jason Voorhees. He can then turn on a dime as Millie and isn’t afraid of committing fully to the role. Seeing him try to convince Millie’s friends that he’s actually her is definitely one of the highlights of the film.
Kathryn Newton has the equally difficult task of playing two roles as well, and while she does a good enough job at becoming the cold and brooding Blissfield Butcher, it’s just not as entertaining or even scary as Vaughn. That being said, she does have a lot of fun with the role and gets to shine in some absolutely brutal and horrifying kills. It’s actually a bit shocking at how gruesome Freaky can be at times, especially when it’s leaning heavily into the horror aspect.
Freaky is a downright fun film that will satisfy the appetite of both horror and comedy lovers. It tends to slow down a bit whenever Vince Vaughn is not on the screen, but it’s never boring or dull. Once again, Landon has knocked it out of the part by putting a horror twist on a comedy classic.