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Review Freaky (2020): I wanted to like it but this is a misfire!

genre: thriller, slasher, horror, comedy

When it was announced that Freaky was coming I was excited. Knowing it would be made by the same people who made Happy Death Day and Happy Death Day 2U brought me joy. Still, why didn't they release this during Halloween? Would have made much more sense. And I really was hoping it would. Anyway the trailer looked like it was going to be awesome! A horror take on the body swap film Freaky Friday? How could you go wrong?

Unfortunately this is one of those cases where the cool premise is not delivered on. While the Happy Death Day films were more comedic than thrilling they were exciting and suspenseful. But Freaky is just a full on comedy in the same vein as Scary Movie without the jokes. Instead you get a mostly Vince Vaughn vehicle with blood and gore. The blood and gore I could appreciate since it was the last thing I expected in a Blumhouse production since most of the time they go for a PG rating. In hindsight that might have motivated them to build on suspense and thrills a little more. Perhaps not a good thing after all? Although it has to be said that Vince Vaughn is one of the highlights of the film. That is as the serial killer who has ended up in the body of a teenage girl. He provides the most laughs and is even endearing at times. Vaughn as the original serial killer is disappointing. He is big and should have been menacing. But he is not. Not even when he remains silent for the most part. I blame that on the direction by Christopher Landon. He did not take his time to build up the serial killer. Sure we get introduced to him in the opening scene but it's never shocking or terrifying as you can see him coming from a mile away.

Kathryn Newton as Millie then as the serial killer in Millie's body has a much greater transformation. She is far more enjoyable when she plays the serial killer. However apart from a few kills she remains pretty tame compared to how The Butcher acted in the opening scene. I think this was a big mistake. Her not looking anything like The Butcher could have provided the surprise element. Where every scene you would be wondering whether he would kill or not? I personally would have liked it had The Butcher been more dangerous and efficient. Innocent looking teenage girl on a killing rampage and nobody even suspects her? That would have been great. Somehow they dropped the ball on this. I don't understand this since that is basically what made this body swap element so interesting.

I think the real let down is the fact that Freaky is utterly predictable. Everything plays out as you expect it to be. Towards the end they had a real chance to sneak in a twist or two that definitely would have had an impact. But I guess they didn't dare too since it would not give you a happy ending. I like those too. But when it comes to horror films like this it's one of the big plot devices to shake up things which was very needed.

Overall Freaky is average to decent. But a major disappointment especially compared to the Happy Death Day films. I can't recommend this!

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