The unintentional body swap of a serial killer with a teenage girl leads to zany antics, gruesome butchering and heartfelt confessions in this twist on the classic Freaky Friday films.
Spoiler Level: Moderate
As most people know, the basic plot of Freaky Friday is that a child swaps bodies with a grown up, usually a parent. The crazy antics that unfold lead to a shared empathy between the two characters once the switch is reversed. Freaky twists this a bit more. In the town of Blissfield, four teens are partying on Wednesday the 11th (two days before Homecoming and Friday the 13th). The recount the towns urban legend of the “Blissfield Butcher”. A serial killer who always strikes around Homecoming. Two of the kids are looking at the amazing art and artifacts that the wealthy party host’s father collects. Among the statues and skulls is a dagger in a glass case. The “Butcher” (Vince Vaughn) attacks killing all four kids and stealing the dagger.
The next day, we meet Millie Kessler (Kathryn Newton), a shy bullied girl who lost her father the year before and is torn between wanting to live her own life and staying close to her mother (Katie Finneran) who is struggling with the lost of her husband. Her friends, Nyla (Celeste O’Connor) and Josh (Misha Osherovich) along with her sister, Char (Dana Drori), try to convince her to come out of her shell and live life for herself for once. When her mother falls asleep and doesn’t show to pick her up from school after the Homecoming game, Millie is attacked by the “Butcher” who stabs her with the stolen dagger. The dagger is called “La Dola” and was used in Aztec sacrifices. The next morning (Friday the 13th) the two wake up having swapped bodies. The rest of the movie is a mix of the normal Freaky Friday antics as Millie learns how to find her inner strength. Helped by her friends, and Booker (Uriah Shelton), the boy she has a crush on, the gang attempts to stop the Butcher (Who now looks like Millie) from killing more people and getting Millie back in her own body before the curse becomes permanent. Will they make it in time and survive the rampant killing of a serial killer? Watch to find out!
There is a fine balance between humor and horror that can make or break a movie. If you tip to the side of humor, it can seem ingenious, if you tip toward blood and gore, the humor seems out of place. Freaky finds the sweet spot, which allows the movie sweet coming of age moments and yet still hold enough action and horror to keep it interesting. I am not one for gore for the sake of gore and there were a few images I didn’t need to see, but it wasn’t unbearable and didn’t spoil the movie.
The production value is very good. The script is a bit vague on “why”s. Why is the “Butcher” butchering? Did he know of the dagger’s power or was taking it just an accident? Besides being an ancient artifact, what gave the dagger it’s power? Why? But the unknown both lets our imagination fill in the blanks and leaves room for further movies. The storyline itself flows very well with no real slow spots. What really sets this movie apart from others are the performances. Kathryn newton as Millie is sweet, shy and loving. We empathize with her situation. Being bullied by just about everyone, including her wood shop teacher, we almost root for the “Butcher” when they switch bodies. Kathryn as the “Butcher” is both sexy and dark. These are two different people. Vince Vaughn shines when he is “Millie”. And it is fun to watch as this weak “girl” finds her strength, both inner and outer. The scene between “her” and Booker is both sweet and endearing. For once in “her” life she feels strong and empowered, but it is Booker who explains that “Strength” doesn’t come from size. It comes from your mind and your heart. Uriah is an attractive boy with a great smile, as Booker, he exudes both confidence and compassion and proves that his feelings for Millie are more than skin deep. Celeste and Misha round out a great cast. Nyla acts as Millie’s conscience, telling her to be herself and live her life. She is the angel on her shoulder. Josh, a young gay man, is her foil. The devil whispering in her ear to not only live her life, but live it to the fullest. Misha’s comic timing adds a lot of the film’s humor and plays well against Vince Vaughn’s effeminate Millie. This is just a fun witty well done film.
This movie really surprised me with a good story that flows well, heart felt performances that aren’t over the top, at least most of the time, wit and humor well-proportioned and great production values. If you like humorous horror films this is a must see.
Freaky: Freaky Friday gets Freakier!
Writing - 9/109/10
Storyline - 10/1010/10
Acting - 10/1010/10
Music - 8/108/10
Production - 10/1010/10
User Review( votes)