If you’re a fan of filmmaker Christopher Landon’s HAPPY DEATH DAY movies (I am!) his new movie FREAKY will not disappoint whatsoever. It’s quite refreshing to see a movie that doesn’t apologize for its gore or even going over the top in its comedy, either, and it also comes from one of my favorite production companies, Blumhouse, who pride themselves on fun genre cinema with more limited budgets.
Like with the HAPPY DEATH DAY series, FREAKY has a fun concept that pays homage to earlier 80s slasher movies and puts a fun spin on them. Millie (Kathryn Newton) is a high schooler who is somewhat shy and reserved, and things take a turn when she is tracked by the Blissfield Butcher (Vince Vaughn). Yet a magical connection happens and the two switch bodies, and both have 24 hours to not only figure out how to reverse the curse, but also stay out of each other’s way in the process.
The concept was oddly reminiscent of SCREAM but along with the body-switching idea, which was also popular in the 80s with titles like VICE VERSA, LIKE FATHER LIKE SON and others. What makes this work so well is both Kathryn Newton and Vince Vaughn, who play very well against each other, and both have a lot of when mimicking each other’s personalities when switched.
Definitely not for families and for the squeamish, FREAKY was more than satisfying for this genre fan and it’s a LOT of fun throughout.
About the Blu Ray:
Like with the recent Universal releases we have talked about on the site, it’s a bit surprising that Universal hasn’t released FREAKY as a 4k UHD disc, as the movie has a full 4k version available on Apple TV. As someone who has a full 4k setup and would want to purchase this title in this format, that it only goes so far as Blu-Ray is a bit of a disappointment for this title.
Still, it’s a great Blu Ray presentation. Filmed digitally, the movie has a fun color scheme and switches well from dark tones. The high school sequences have a strong color balance. The DTS master audio soundtrack isn’t exactly reference material, but it serves the purpose well; my subwoofers were getting quite a bit of a workout with the end credits song, but that’s about it.
There are some fun extra features on here to fill out this “Killer Switch” edition, including the usual behind the scenes featurettes. It’s great to see a very high-energy and positive Kathryn Newton in interviews, and I also greatly admired the effects featurettes which showcased a lot of the practical effects used throughout. The star feature here, however, is a lively commentary track by director Christopher Landon and you can clearly tell he’s passionate about his craft as he tells fun stories about leading the production. This is worth the price of the disc alone if you are a fan of the movie.
A standard DVD is also included, and a digital copy which can be redeemed for use on Google Play in Canada. Again, I wish this was a full 4k HDR release as the visuals and soundtrack would really benefit, but this is still a satisfying Blu Ray release for a fun, practical-gore filled genre movie.
FREAKY is now available on Blu Ray via Universal Pictures. Many thanks to Taro PR for sending along a copy for review.