There have been a ton of body swap movies over the year, and even several with the word “freaky” in the movie title. However, this version from Blumhouse is a slice above the rest with a new and original idea that takes Freaky to a new level.
Millie (Kathryn Newton) is a high school student who has been having a tough time sine her father died a year ago. Her mother (Katie Finneran) is smothering her, she is being bullied on a regular basis at school and her police officer sister (Dana Drori) has little time for her.
Everything changed when local urban legend The Butcher (Vince Vaughn) returned to the town and started murdering young people. The Butcher and Millie crossed paths and The Butcher stabbed her with a knife. However, the knife was special, an old Aztec artifact, causing the two of them to switch consciousness.
Of course, we have seen the idea of the body switch many times and the jokes about the characters perplexity and disorientation over the unfamiliar body they found themselves trapped within. There was the expected jokes about Millie and the penis that she now found herself with.
Still, the fact that one of the body switchers is a serial killer tweaks the story enough to freshen up the concept. The biggest issue I had with the story was that it would have helped make things easier if Millie (in The Butcher’s body) would have gone to her sister the cop for help. She was able to convince her two best friends, Nyla (Celeste O’Connor) and Josh (Misha Osherovich), and her crush Booker (Uriah Shelton) that the switch had happened. Shouldn’t her sister be easier to convince? They did not spend enough time showing the fractured relationship of the sisters to make me believe that this wouldn’t be the first thing she did.
Yet, I was able to get past that and a few other plot points that required some serious suspension of disbelief mainly because of how awesome Vince Vaughn was and how much charisma he had with these other kids. And Kathryn Newton played an epic bad ass killer. She does a tremendous job when she has The Butcher inhabiting her body. You believe that this was a different character, right down to the way she moved or looked at people. The characters were all a hoot and they helped move the movie past some of the more ridiculousness of the plot.
The is some strong humor involved here and a lot of gory kills. Some of the kills, in particular the one where Cameron from Ferris Buehler’s Day Off, Alan Ruck, who plays a teacher at Millie’s school, is killed.
I was excited to see this on Vudu today and it was certainly a fun time. The film moved quickly and worked quite a bit. Freaky took an old trope and gave it a new spin with several engaging performances.