After swapping bodies with a deranged serial killer, a young girl in high school discovers she has less than 24 hours before the change becomes permanent.
Putting a twist on the ‘Freaky Friday’ style body swap premise, ‘Freaky’ is a teen slasher comedy that centres on a teenage girl who finds herself swapping bodies with a notorious local serial killer. It begins by introducing us to the Blissfield Butcher (Vince Vaughn), a serial killer who some believe to be more urban legend than real life monster, much to the cost of four teenagers who meet an unfortunate end at a local mansion. Alongside these murders the butcher steals a rare, ancient dagger, which as I’m sure you’ve guessed, will be both the catalyst and the cure for the body swapping tribulations that will soon follow. It’s a fun premise and it provides Vince Vaughn with one of his best non S. Craig Zahler movies in years.
Our protagonist is Millie Kessler (Kathryn Newton), a shy high school student who is getting bullied at school, and she ends up trading places with the butcher as he tries to murder her after a football game, and this is where the fun begins. What makes this such a blast is the fun Vince Vaughn and Kathryn Newton have once their bodies are swapped, with the butcher turning into an awkward teenage girl and Millie turning into a psychopathic murderer. Most of the comedy comes from this, and alongside some inventive gory deaths and enjoyable supporting turns from Celeste O’Connor and Misha Osherovich as Millie’s friends, this is an entertaining romp.
The key to any horror comedy is to balance the humour with the scares and ‘Freaky’ does that well whilst coming down more on the comedic side, and by leaning into Vince Vaughn’s comedic chops it works really well. The best thing you can say for Kathryn Newton is that she is as adept as Vaughn is at straddling two personas, convincing as the timid schoolgirl and as the confident serial killer, and both are incredibly engaging. What it perhaps lacks in originality it makes up for in all other elements and I found lots to like about ‘Freaky’.
Directed By: Christopher Landon
Starring: Vince Vaughn, Kathryn Newton, Celeste O’Connor, Misha Osherovich, Dani Drori, Katie Finneran, Uriah Shelton, Ezra Sexton and Alan Ruck