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Freaky – Blu-Ray Review

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Freaky – Blu-Ray Review

Rating: B (Good)

Trailer/Thumbnail Courtesy Universal Studios Home Entertainment

The body swap movie can be a fun way for actors to let loose and inhabit completely different roles. It’s surprising there aren’t more horror films that utilise this premise and Freaky takes full advantage of the possibilities. After a slow start setting up the characters, Freaky eventually finds a groove when Kathryn Newton’s Millie and Vince Vaughn’s “The Butcher” switch bodies. Both actors successfully take on the other character’s personalities and mannerisms and that helps turn Freaky into a fun ride. Vaughn becomes believable as a teenage girl, not overdoing it too much and gets some decent laughs with his performance. Newton is required to be more stoic, but we also see The Butcher occasionally get annoyed with his predicament and that leads to some funny bits.

Along for the ride are Millie’s best friends, played with the needed energy by Celeste O’Connor and Misha Osherovich. Osherovich gets some really funny line readings and the three of them make for a likeable trio as they try to reverse this switch. What helps is that director/co-writer Christopher Landon seems to have a genuine knowledge of body swap movies and tries his best to avoid the obvious gags. He also handles the horror elements with ease. The horror sequences aren’t necessarily scary and are instead more interested in over-the-top gore and outlandish violence. It’s a shame the pandemic prevented Freaky from being seen in a cinema full of people reacting to the wild on-screen events.

The Blu-Ray presents the film extremely well, which aids the use of colour Landon and his director of photography Laurie Rose bring to Freaky. The movie especially pops during the high school and homecoming dance scenes. There is a decent assortment of bonus features, although some are more informative than others. Landon recorded an audio commentary, which provides plenty of information on the production and the writing. He gives some worthwhile bits of information that makes one appreciate the filmmaking. There are also three deleted scenes, two of which are very short and one that’s a little longer. They are amusing little scenes, but it’s understandable why they were cut from the finished film.

The behind-the-scenes featurettes are a mixed bag. These are mostly promotional pieces about how great everyone was to work with and don’t present much substance. The best featurette is “Crafting the Kills”, which goes into the special effects for the murder scenes. We see the makeup and effects teams at work, with emphasis on a scene set in Millie’s workshop class as they go through the step-by-step process. Overall, Freaky makes for an entertaining twist on a familiar concept and one can see the glee Christopher Landon had with putting it all together. Those with a fondness for the body swap movie and the over-the-top slasher film will get a kick out of Freaky.

Stefan Ellison