Over the past few years, Vince Vaughn has been stepping away from his comedic roots to take on other genres of film. One of his recent attempts, which is tinged with a good dose of dark humor, has found its way to the HBO Max streaming platform.
Freaky is a gory twist on the popular Jamie Lee Curtis and Lindsay Lohan Disney film, Freaky Friday. It introduces a body-swap, but instead of mother-daughter, as in Freaky Friday, this swap involves a female teenager and an aging serial killer. Vince Vaughn stars as the infamous serial killer, the Blissfield Butcher. The Butcher’s reign of terror continues one night when he slaughters a foursome of teenagers. After admiring his work, The Butcher makes off with an ancient dagger called La Dola.
Kathryn Newton is Millie Kessler, a high-school student who is definitely part of the unpopular group. She performs as the school mascot at the football game, something that eventually leads her to a meeting with The Butcher. After the game, Millie is waiting for her ride home when The Butcher appears, giving a glimpse of Vince Vaughn in horror mode. He chases her down to the middle of the football field’s empty stadium where he prepares to do butcher things to her. Using the La Dola dagger, the Butcher stabs Millie in the shoulder. Poof.
The next morning, Millie wakes up to find out she is in Vince Vaughn as The Butcher’s lair. Not understanding why she has been spared, she searches for an exit until she sees herself in a mirror. But instead of her female body, she now inhibits The Butcher’s. Meanwhile, The Butcher wakes up from a bad dream. When his surroundings don’t look even remotely familiar, he also finds himself in front of a mirror. He is now Millie.
Both know what needs to happen next. They head to the high school. The Butcher, now Millie, arrives to start taking out kids one by one. Vince Vaughn starts first with Millie’s chief tormentor, Ryler. He then sets his sights on woodshop teacher Mr. Bernardi.
Meanwhile, Millie, now The Butcher must navigate her way around the school in The Butcher’s body while trying not to get caught and find her best friends to convince them The Butcher is really Millie. The humor and gore are played to perfection as Vince Vaughn does a perfect Millie while Newton is spot-on as The Butcher.
Millie, in The Butcher’s body, and her two friends (whom she finally convinces) now have to find a way to get close to The Butcher, in Millie’s body, in order to make the switch back. To make matters tenser, if the two don’t switch back by midnight, they will stay in the other’s body forever.
Freaky is truly a fun movie. The blend of humor with horror is almost perfect coming from director Christopher Landon, who also penned the script with writer Michael Kennedy.
What’s interesting about Landon’s film is not necessarily what’s in it, but what the film could eventually be part of. Landon is also the director of the popular horror film Happy Death Day and the writer/director of its sequel, Happy Death Day 2U. When asked if those two films are set in the same universe, Landon responded on his Twitter account saying, “They def share the same DNA and there’s a good chance Millie and Tree [Jessica Rothe] will bump into each other someday.” That is some exciting horror news for fans of Happy Death Day and Freaky.
Critics loved Freaky and we are assuming audiences would have loved it even more if the film didn’t suffer from a COVID pandemic release. Landon made his movie for $6 million while taking home $16 at the box office. Trust us, if you haven’t seen the film, it is much better than a $16 million box office.
Vince Vaughn has given fans numerous laughs from Old School and Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story to The Internship, Wedding Crashers (with a possible sequel on the way), and now Freaky. But Vaughn has also stepped out of his comedy comfort zone with other projects that include a great run on the hit HBO series True Detective, Hacksaw Ridge, Brawl in Cell Block 99, and Seberg.
Up next for the now prolific actor is the film North Hollywood and then Queenpins, inspired by a true story of two housewives (played here by Kristen Bell and Kirby Howell-Baptiste) who scammed millions by starting an illegal coupon club. Vince Vaughn and Freaky, releasing on July 24, 2021, can be seen on HBO Max.