Freaky

This is a pretty fun mashup of genres. It combines the body swap story with the slasher film. It has some good laughs and some fun horror moments, but it’s most successful due to its two leads, Vince Vaughn and Kathryn Newton as the body swapped duo.

The film opens with a group of teens at one of their obscenely wealthy parent’s mansions when a deranged killer (Vaughn) breaks in and murders them all one by one in bloody fashion. He chases one girl into a room full of antiquities and murders her with a knife he finds in a glass case. It turns out that this knife is a magical knife.

The next day at school we meet Millie Kessler, (Newton) the bullied outcast in her school who is having trouble at home, and is in love with a boy who doesn’t seem to notice her. Classic. Anyway, that night after the homecoming football game, Millie is attacked and stabbed by the killer using the magic knife. Some magic stuff happens, and they switch bodies. Millie wakes up in an abandoned warehouse in the body of Vince Vaughn. The psychotic killer wakes up as a teenage girl.

Both actors are so good here. It’s a lot of fun to watch Vaughn play a teen girl. He nails the mannerisms without going over the top. And Newton has a steely dead eyed glare that she employs as the killer. It’s a great duet from these two. Body swap movies live and die by their leads, and this one nails the leads.

There are some really fun elements that the movie plays with. One is that the killer likes being a teen because nobody is suspecting her to be the killer. However, it has its drawbacks. For instance, she is physically very weak and small. There’s a lot of humor wrung from the idea that she has the confidence of a giant man and the ability of a little girl. The same is true for Vaughn, they really play up his size and strength to great effect. It’s a lot of fun.

The horror in the movie doesn’t work as well. It’s never really scary. I wasn’t scared anyway. There are several kills in the film, and they are very creative and fun. There is a person strapped to a table saw that becomes a bloody big fountain. There are a couple of really well made scenes, but it never becomes scary. They are funny and entertaining, but not fear inducing. They are also bloody, so it’s best to skip it if you’re squeamish.

The movie sets its sights for the middle of the road. It’s a fun body swap horror comedy. It doesn’t have ambitions beyond that. It tells its story and has its fun. Then it gets out at a tight hour forty one. I highly recommend it if you’re looking for a fun movie this Halloween. It doesn’t bring a lot new to the genre, but it will be a solid entertainment for your evening. It’s currently streaming on HBO Max.

It is my cup of tea. B+

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