This week on "Justin Hall At The Movies," I'll be reviewing a serial killer and a high school girl with a switcheroo to die for in "Freaky."
I have to admit I enjoyed a lot of Freaky. It's a horror comedy with more than enough gore to satisfy horror fans and a lot of sly, effective humor. It fines a nice balance which is difficult to pull off.
It stars Vince Vaughn as a serial killer who stumbles on to an ancient dagger. Kathyrn Newton stars as Millie, an unpopular high school student with only two friends. She is relentlessly bullied by other kids and even her shop teacher (Alan Ruck) has a particular disdain for her.
One night at a football game while dressed as the school's mascot, a beaver, Vaughn's killer encounters her on the football field and tries to stab her with the dagger which only succeeds in wounding her and yet the dagger has mystical powers that causes a body swap between the two. Oh, and it takes place on Friday the 13th.
The next morning both the killer and the high schooler wake up in the other's bodies. This is where Vaughn especially shines as he is able to recapture his goofy persona. The scenes where he tries to convince Millie's friends that he is Millie definitely gets its comedic chops in.
As for Millie, she walks around with a newfound confidence and a darker edge in contrast to her milquetoast demeanor. Boys start paying more attention to her and she even gives her shop teacher what for in a very gruesome fashion.
Freaky is indeed funny and incredibly gory, but we expected that. What surprised me is that it has also moments of a heart in addition to all of the blood-soaked thrills and laughs.
In one scene, Millie's mom works at a clothing store and she sees Vaughn's character in a dressing room. She doesn't know that he and her daughter have switched bodies and yet she has a heart to heart with Vaughn about how hard life has been for Millie and herself since Millie's dad died a year earlier. It provides a surprising amount of character development as well earning some smart laughs at the same time.
Moments like that make this a better than average horror comedy. Until the predictable and lengthy finale takes over, this is a surprisingly good slasher movie.
(Rated R for Sexual Content, Language Throughout, andStrong Bloody Horror Violence.)