Freaky (2020)

Man, if there’s one movie I wanted to love, it was “Freaky.” After all, what’s not to be excited about? The premise is irresistible, the cast is pitch-perfect, and director Christopher Landon has already demonstrated an enviable facility with mixing horror and comedy with “Happy Death Day.” But I have to be honest, the whole thing left me a little on the indifferent side, which is a huge disappointment. Mind you, all the attributes I mentioned above are all on display: The horror twist on the “Freaky Friday” body-switching formula is inventive and rife with comedic potential, while Landon continues to show a gleeful, go-for-broke, paint-the-walls-red approach to onscreen gore, so the concept’s not the problem. Then there’s the wonderful Kathryn Newton, who has a natural rapport with the camera that practically jumps out from the screen, and she’s well-paired with Vince Vaughn, who seems more involved and invested in this role than he has in a long time. But somehow, it just never comes together, like it’s assembled piece by piece by conflicting directorial visions, the kind you usually see in movies directed by more than one person – but here, it’s just Landon, so it’s hard to figure out exactly why this just doesn’t click as well as it should. Maybe it’s that Newton is so good in the first bit as Millie that it’s a shame she’s quickly regulated to a borderline-monosyllabic serial killer role because it neuters her appeal, and she can’t compete with Vaughn’s hyper-charismatic turn. Whatever it is, it’s not enough to completely mar the movie’s appeal, it’s just that it feels undercooked when I wanted it to be something really special.

Rating: ★★★ (out of 5)

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