3/10 Co-writer/director Christopher Landon’s last two movies previous to this one were “Happy Death Day” and its follow up, “Happy Death Day 2U”. If you’re a fan of this site (and who isn’t?) then you will know I was not a fan of those terrible movies so my expectations were low for this one, despite my love of Vince Vaughn. Well my instincts were correct because just as his last couple of movies took a generally interesting idea and then destroyed it with a terrible script, horrendous coincidences and ex machinas and SJW messaging, “Freaky” is here to do the exact same thing. Whereas “Happy Death Day” was a horror spin on “Groundhog’s Day” (an interesting idea for sure), “Freaky” is a horror spin on “Freaky Friday” (also an interesting idea). Having a fun idea is all well and good but like the name of the villain in this movie (The Butcher), Landon butchers the idea and puts out eye rolling shlock that only teenagers with little film knowledge will find to be great. Now there are a few things that do work well before I get to all of the reasons to avoid this disaster. For starters, co-leads Vince Vaughn (The Butcher) and Kathryn Newton (Millie) are fantastic in this. Seeing Newton go from innocent, nerdy girl (like a female Peter Parker) to a demented, disturbed killer was really impressive. Likewise, seeing Vince Vaughn go from total psychopath to screaming, petite girly girl was hilarious and most of the movie’s best comedic moments come from Millie in Vaughn’s body flirting with her crush and the hilarious awkwardness of it all. The body swapping genre is nothing new but still continues to entertain and provide comic relief with our leads’ dedicated performances that are a blast to watch. I will also commend the movie for embracing its R rating and having some grisly, gory death scenes, which if you are a true horror movie, you should have. Lastly, the pacing is strong so at least you will be entertained the entire time and won’t grow bored. That being said, these are not enough to warrant wasting time on this movie. I get that the movie doesn’t have to be realistic, but when every 10 seconds something so eye rollingly unrealistic happens, you can’t help but constantly groan. From a completely laughable representation of high school with a teacher cussing/bullying his students in class to schools having unlocked doors everywhere so literally anyone (especially a serial killer on the loose) can enter your school at any time to Millie’s mom just so happening to come up to the exact dressing room in the mall that her daughter (in Vaughn’s body) is in to a small town not having the feds sent into it when a major serial killer is on the loose to a character getting shot several times but then being totally 100% fine a couple scenes later and able to fight, etc. I could go on but I think you get my point. On top of that, supporting characters are just filling diversity quotas as they are completely two dimensional, underdeveloped stereotypes. When Millie is in The Butcher’s body, a guy refers to Millie as “him” since she is in a man’s body and a character snaps back at him, “Pronouns!” in one of the cringiest moments of celluloid I have seen in 2020. Characters make stupid decisions, moments are completely predictable (one involving setting a watch), the ending is cliché, the movie steals from other movies (a girl in a guy’s body being shocked at having a penis was just done a couple years ago in a Jumanji film) and the soundtrack is expectedly awful. It is a shame that the talented co-leads have their talent wasted by such a horrendously bad script but as long as Blumhouse keeps hiring no talent hacks like Landon to crap out inexpensive movies once every year or two, don’t expect the quality to go any higher, which is a sad and…freaky…fact of life.
#FreakyDieday / #FreeMillie / #FIsForFreaky / #BigLittleGuys / #ABoxOfficeSwap / #ButcherIHardlyKnowHer