102 minutes | Rated R
“Freaky” is essentially a mash-up of the typical slasher movie and the body swapping comedy. A “Freaky Friday” meets “Friday the 13th” if you will. Vince Vaughn portrays the “Blissfield Butcher”, a middle-aged serial killer who has never been caught.
We begin, appropriately, on Wednesday the 11th. A group of teenagers are scaring each other by telling stories about the fabled “Blissfield Butcher.” One of the boys spills his beer on one of the girls and follows her to help clean it up. Inside the home, he stops to admire an ancient dagger in a glass case. He then goes to the cellar where he finds an expensive bottle of wine. A noise frightens him and he drops the bottle breaking it. He thinks the girl made the noise and asks her to help him clean it up. She does not hear him. He begins picking up pieces of the bottle when the neck of the bottle is suddenly thrust through the teen’s neck.
The Butcher then kills the girl and takes the dagger from the case. The girl’s parents arrive and he flees just as they discover their daughter’s corpse. The next day, we meet Millie Kessler, a misunderstood teenager, played by Kathryn Newton. Millie lives with her widowed alcoholic mother, portrayed by Katie Finneran; and her older sister, Char, a police officer, played by Dana Drori.
At school, we learn that she is a bit of a misfit. She is the school mascot, the beaver, at the football games. She has a crush on a boy named Booker. Her best friends are Nyla, played by Celeste O’Connor; and Josh, portrayed by Misha Osherovich. She is often late to class, and the woodshop teacher, played by Alan Ruck, constantly gives her a hard time.
After the game, Millie is sitting on a bench waiting for her mother to pick her up. Millie has repeatedly tried to call her with no results. Char comes home and we discover that mom has gotten drunk and passed out. As she calls Millie, the Butcher attacks her. She runs and the Butcher gives chase. When he catches her, he stabs her in the shoulder with the stolen dagger and is shocked when he gets a similar wound in his shoulder. Char arrives and the Butcher flees.
On the morning of Friday the 13th, the Butcher finds himself in Millie’s room, and body. Millie wakes up in the Butcher’s body, and his lair.
“Freaky” is an entertaining mash-up of two seemingly unrelated genres, but it works. Vaughn and Newton are excellent after playing each other after the swap. Vaughn is one of few actors who could be intimidating enough to be believable as a serial killer, and charmingly goofy as a teenage girl. The kills are quite brutal for a comedy, but in-line with most slasher movies.
“Freaky” is rated R for brutal violence, language, and some suggestive content. It is suitable for teens and up. I rate it three-and-a-half out of five Aztec Daggers.