Freaky is a 2020 slasher comedy film co-written and directed by Christopher Landon (Happy Death Day, Happy Death Day 2U, Scouts Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse, Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones, and Burning Palms). Landon was a known screenwriter before he started directing, he wrote such films as Another Day in Paradise, Disturbia, and Paranormal Activity 2/3/4. It was co-written by Michael Kennedy (Bordertown and Who Are You?). It was produced by Jason Blum (The Purge franchise, Insidious franchise, Get Out, Split/Glass, Happy Death Day 1/2, Halloween, & Upgrade) & Ryan Turek (Halloween / Halloween Kills / Halloween Ends, Truth or Dare, Happy Death Day 1/2, and Unfriended: Dark Web) and Ryan Turek (Happy Death Day 1/2, MA, Truth or Dare, Fantasy Island, Don’t Let Go, Mercy Black, and Unfriended: Dark Web) for Blumhouse Productions. The budget was $6 million and it grossed $15.2 million at the box office!!!!
Four teenagers are brutally murdered by a serial killer known as the Blissfield Butcher (played by: Vince Vaughn from Psycho, The Cell, Arkansas, Dragged Across Concrete, and Brawl in Cell Block 99), who then steals an ancient dagger known as La Dola. The next day, a bullied high school student Millie Kessler (played by: Kathryn Newton from Pokémon Detective Pikachu, Blockers, Lady Bird, and Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri) attends the homecoming football game, where she performs as the school mascot. She gets dissed by the team as she performs. As Millie waits for a ride home from school, the Butcher attacks her. He stabs Millie in the shoulder with La Dola causing an identical wound to instantly appear on his shoulder. Millie’s older sister Charlene (played by: Dana Drori from High Fidelity) shows up in time and scares off the Butcher before he can kill her. The police collect La Dola as evidence and start a manhunt for the blood thirsty Butcher.
The following morning, the Butcher and Millie discover that they have switched bodies. They have 24 hours to fix this or they will be forever stuck there. They both make their way to Blissfield Valley High School. Millie shows up to her school dressed completely different and full of confidence. She gains some newfound popularity after almost dying. Millie’s main abuser and bully Ryler (played by: Melissa Collazo from Stranger Things and Swamp Thing) is finally interested in her after situation from last night but someone else is in there. Millie is freaked out and struggling to work with her new body as the vicious serial killer. After being trapped in each other’s bodies, they end up in awkward situations with Mr. Bernardi (played by: Alan Ruck from Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, Bad Boys, Speed, and Twister), Nyla (played by: Celeste O’Connor from Ghostbusters: Afterlife), Josh (played by: Misha Osherovich from The Goldfinch), and Booker (played by: Uriah Shelton from Girl Meets World). Can they somehow get back to normal? or Will they have to learn to live their new lives as someone else????
Have you ever wondered what if they mixed the slasher and body swap sub-genres together? Well, creative horror director Christopher Landon delivered on that here. He already struck horror gold with his Happy Death Day franchise and his hilarious zombie comedy Scouts Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse but this is probably his best work so far. He is one of the brightest and most original directors in horror right now. The script was top notch and it knew exactly what type of feature it was making with Freaky. The opening was amazing and it reminded me of all those classic 80’s slasher flicks. It kinda starts out serious and brutal but it quickly turns into a hilarious horror comedy with this ridiculous body swap situation so just keep that in mind. It still has some crazy kills but they are not non stop and some of them do take awhile. It has a nice balance of comedy and horror after it’s gruesome intro. I will say the violence is definitely different from his Happy Death Day films in this because they are darker rather than done for comedy.
People seem to forget that Vince Vaughn was a dramatic actor before he got typecasted in all these comedies later on in his career. He has played more than a few psychos including Norman Bates in the remake plus features like Clay Pigeons and Domestic Disturbance. He was great as the serious lunatic at the beginning and so funny as the girl trapped in the maniac’s body so it was kinda like a dual role situation here for the both of the leads. Kathryn Newton was amazing as the nerd and the butcher stuck in a teenage girl’s body in Freaky. She is definitely a different kind of final girl and it’s a very original approach to the classic horror role. Both of the leads played off each other and they nailed their mannerisms when they were switched. Alan Ruck nailed the asshole role in his small part. It had a solid supporting cast which included Celeste O’Connor, Misha Osherovich, Uriah Shelton, Dana Drori, and Melissa Collazo. Plus it has special fx from the legendary Tony Gardner (The Return of the Living Dead, Aliens, The Blob, Nightbreed, Darkman, Army of Darkness, Freaked, The Craft, and Lord of Illusions). Freaky is a blast, it’s so much fun and beyond entertaining. It’s one of the best horror films in a long time and one of my favorites from 2020 with some excellent replay value, HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!!!!
Let’s talk about the high definition presentation from Universal Pictures! This 1080p (2.39:1) transfer looks stunning on blu ray. The production design for The Butcher’s home is really creepy and hilarious. I love the high school atmosphere with the crazy concept here. It has multiple audio options which includes English: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1, French: DTS 5.1, and Spanish: DTS 5.1 on the disc. This one sounds great especially during all the madness, it has a killer boost during those gruesome moments. All of the dialogue is crystal clear and the music is elevated here. It has English SDH, French, and Spanish subtitles.
Let’s discuss the special features from Universal Pictures on this Killer Switch Edition! It has an “Audio Commentary” with co-writer and director Christopher Landon. He jokes about always messing with the Universal logo for his films. He points out some Easter eggs. He chats about his experience on Freaky. He talks about the story, concept, cast, character relationships, production design, kills, and the comedy. He brings up that the Butcher’s home was inspired by the classic slasher Maniac. He mentions that he knows nothing about football but he was happy with how those scenes turned out. He tells some funny stories including when he first wrote the big fight scene here and he envisioned it as an equivalent to the Marvel cinematic universe film until he started shooting it. He learned quick that he didn’t have the time or money for that type of scene. He tells another one when it comes to the Halloween mask part. He originally reached out to actor John Goodman but he got turned down for it so he went for Aaron Rodgers who had no problem with it here. Christopher Landon is passionate about this project and you can tell on this track. He has lots of fun here and you learn a decent amount about the production. There’s never a dull moment here. It has almost 6 minutes of “Deleted Scenes” which includes The Butcher Lends a Hand, Charlene Hears a Rumor, and Late for the Party. “Split Personalities: Millie vs. The Butcher” is a little over 2 minutes. It has interviews with director Christopher Landon, actors Vince Vaughn, Misha Osherovich, Kathryn Newton, and various members of the production. They chat about the different characters when it comes to the leads. They talk about the actors switching roles here. They go over working with each other and borrowing stuff to make the other similar. “Crafting the Kills” is a little over 3 minutes. It has interviews with the same people that were mentioned above. They chat about the creative death scenes and kills in this. They talk about making them more brutal than your typical horror comedy. It focuses on some of the special fx from the production. “Christopher Landon’s Brand of Horror” is a little over 2 minutes. It has interviews with the cast and crew. They chat about working with the creative director. They praise his work and their experience with him. Landon says he bring something different to the horror comedy sub-genre. They bring up his unique style. “Final Girl Reframed” is almost 3 minutes. It has interviews with the same cast and crew mentioned above plus a few others. They chat about doing something different with the iconic female horror character. They talk about some of the differences that make her stronger and more original than others in the past. It also has a slipcover, a digital code, and a DVD copy of the release. It came out Tuesday so it’s available everywhere right now. It needs to be everyone’s collection. CHECK IT OUT!!!!