The body swap formula never seems to get old, with comedies like Vice Versa, Freaky Friday, Hot Chick and The Change-Up giving us different variations on the familiar trope. But take that premise and apply it to the horror genre, and you get something totally fresh.
Freaky is a new horror comedy from Blumhouse that finds a high school girl (Kathryn Newton of Blockers) switching bodies with a serial killer known as The Butcher (Vince Vaughn) thanks to a mystical ancient dagger. It sounds like a total dud on the surface, but if the first Freaky trailer is any indicator, the result is both hilarious and terrifying.
Freaky is written and directed by Christopher Landon, who also brought us the unique spin on the time loop formula with Happy Death Day. It seems like he’s found a great niche with injecting comedy into horror while still keeping the suspense and terror of the genre intact, not to mention finding refreshing ways of using old premises.
Vince Vaughn hasn’t done anything notable in the comedy genre for awhile, and this looks like a great role for him to dig back into it. Plus, it’s a dark comedy, which is fresh territory for him. Though his performance feels a little broad as he mimics Kathryn Newton, he’s not overdoing it like Rob Schneider in Hot Chick.
As someone who loved both of the Happy Death Day movies, I’m willing to give this wild premise a shot. Anything original is exciting these days, even if it’s just as simple as taking a movie trope and turning it on its head in an interesting way.
Seventeen-year-old Millie Kessler (Kathryn Newton, Blockers, HBO’s Big Little Lies) is just trying to survive the bloodthirsty halls of Blissfield High and the cruelty of the popular crowd. But when she becomes the newest target of The Butcher (Vince Vaughn), her town’s infamous serial killer, her senior year becomes the least of her worries.
When The Butcher’s mystical ancient dagger causes him and Millie to wake up in each other’s bodies, Millie learns that she has just 24 hours to get her body back before the switch becomes permanent and she’s trapped in the form of a middle-aged maniac forever. The only problem is she now looks like a towering psychopath who’s the target of a city-wide manhunt while The Butcher looks like her and has brought his appetite for carnage to Homecoming.
With some help from her friends—ultra-woke Nyla (Celeste O’Connor, Ghostbusters: Afterlife), ultra-fabulous Joshua (Misha Osherovich, The Goldfinch) and her crush Booker (Uriah Shelton, Enter the Warriors Gate)—Millie races against the clock to reverse the curse while The Butcher discovers that having a female teen body is the perfect cover for a little Homecoming killing spree.
Freaky is slated to hit theaters on November 13, 2020, which is Friday the 13th.