Dir. Christopher Landon
Reviewer. Martyn Wakefield
FREAKY FRIDAY meets FRIDAY THE 13TH, call it Freaky Friday the 13th if you will but here a serial killer and a teen nobody switch bodies to brutal, and hilarious effect.
The opening minutes will fool you into a false sense of security, the mask, the killing and the sheer bloodshed that the Butcher (Vince Vaugh) leaves behind as he takes a mysterious dagger from a wealthy household. This is some of the darkest shit we've seen in a film for some time. But just when you settle down for a hardcore slasher film it sets out to be, the killer stabs the dagger into high schooler Millie (Kathryn Newton) and the killers night of murder does not end to plan.
Waking up the next day, Millie and the Butcher face their harsh reality - life is going to get a little different from now on and they have 24 hours to kill as they hunt each other down to reverse the tragedy. As Millie finally gains the strength she always wanted to fight back the bullies, the Butcher finds a new way of hunting victims and adding to his tally.
It's clear from the outset that Vaughn can do nasty but it's his comedy chops that reign supreme here and we can comfortably say this is Vaughn's best film in years. However, Newton, not one to be outdone, really owns the role of the Butcher and is at the centre of every neck ripping, chainsaw wielding, eye gauging, cool as fuck death. In fact, despite the body swapping, Millie is perfectly placed in the Slasher hall of fame if we can somehow keep her in this twisted reality going forward.
Christopher Landon, who gave us the HAPPY DEATH DAY films, A SCOUT'S GUIDE TO THE ZOMBIE APOCALYSE and PARANORMAL ACTIVITY: THE MARKED ONES has mastered the blend of teen drama and horror. Here really is a teen horror worth sinking your teeth into. With all of the death scenes, there's a sense of FINAL DESTINATION as the impending downfall of each character looms. It really pushes the 15 age rating but is softened enough by the laugh out loud humour on Vaughn's part.
FREAKY is a hair raising experience that is appeasing from start to end, it may be stretched out by an unnecessary final act but it's no less enjoyable for lovers of great horror that's gory AND fun. Vince Vaughn has never had so much fun and we love it.