Here at our offices at Any Acres we receive some interesting correspondence from loyal fans of AnyGoodFilms as well as the thinly veiled abuse including this one from regular reader Mrs Yetigooscreecher saying, ‘Dear Clint, sorry about the spelling mistake in my last letter. from Mrs Yetigooscreecher’. Yes its true to say we get some pretty freaky letters which shoehorns us into new horror film Freaky starring Vince Vaughn as ‘The Butcher’, a serial killer who lays waste to four high school kids in a gory opening scene with them necking wine and for one poor sod who literally necks wine having a bottle forcibly shoved down his throat with an absence of gag reflex that every politician looks for in their mistress.
The victim’s high school is the same as socially shy Millie (Kathryn Newton) younger sibling to her cop sister and daughter to a widowed mom who secretly drowns her sorrows in cheap wine. Millie, though she has a couple of friends (the diversity quota has one gay and another black) but she’s bullied by the school princesses led as well as of the teachers (played by Alan Ruck who we’ve not seen much of since he played Ferris Bueller’s best friend) and the law of horror sets them up as obvious future victims. The school prom is on the horizon yet with a serial killer on the loose it is in danger of being postponed. It’s Millie, who’s mum has passed out on the sofa and forgets to pick her up, who finds herself stalked by the killer who corners and threatens her with his ceremonial dagger of doom (not a euphemism). But as he stabs her a mystical force sees them swapping souls into one another’s bodies with Vaughn’s body now inhabited with Millie’s innocent soul and Millie now hosting that of the serial killer. It leaves the killer with the perfect cover to begin his school slaughter with Millie’s soul desperate to get her body back yet with only 24 hours to do so before it becomes permanent.
Co-written and directed by Christopher Landon has a good understanding of the genre having written several of the Paranormal Activity films. Freaky has plenty of nods to classics most notably Halloween with its masked killers head tilt after offing a victim whilst another character wears a shirt with Strode on the back in homage to Jamie Lee Curtis character. But Freaky is one of those body swop films that started with Freaky Friday followed by Big and to a certain degree ‘Face Off’ and here it has Newton’s Millie initially looking like Vanessa Kirby’s younger sister before transforming into a vampishly villainous Miley Cyrus look-a-like with looks to literally kill. Vaughn being mostly wordless for the first half hour of the film gets his chance to demonstrate his comedic chops after appearing in sombre dramatic roles in the underrated ‘Brawl in Cell 99‘ & also ‘Dragged Across Concrete‘ channelling Millie’s mannerisms into his huge 6’5’’ frame but plays it camp rather than how Newton plays Millie. And of course the must have for scripts is to have a subtext of gender politics which this can’t resist.
For horror fans this is agreeably gory with some spectacular kills notably with a workshop circular saw and Freaky moves swiftly along with Newton, who has appeared in several decent films including ‘Blockers‘ and ‘Pokemon Detective Pikachu‘, with a career that is on the ascent.
Here’s the Freaky trailer…..