While theaters are still barely open and not very safe, the trailers keep coming, making us wish and hope that we can get back to the multiplex soon. Or, in this case, we hope that Universal Studios and Blumhouse will do what they did with The Invisible Man and get Freaky to our screens on VOD sooner rather than later. Because Freaky looks great.
The premise of Freaky literally sounds like a Twitter “combine the movies” joke. It’s Freaky Friday … The 13th! But if this trailer is any indication, that concept is kind of genius. Kathryn Newton plays Millie, a “boring” teen girl in high school who no one really notices much (honestly believing that anyone could ignore the luminous Newton requires the biggest suspension of disbelief here). She gets stalked and killed by the local serial killer, as teens in horror movies are wont to do … except she doesn’t die. She switches bodies with the killer.
Cue a teen girl in the body of Vince Vaughn. I love this and it will be fun to see if Vaugh does as good a job playing a young woman as Jack Black did in Jumanji. From what we can see in this preview, both Vaughn and Newton are going to be great in their dual roles and they were clearly having a ball with the premise. I think Vaughn is great casting as a serial killer (anyone else remember him as Norman Bates in the Psycho remake?) and Newton is a great rising star.
Watching this preview just reminds me how well horror and comedy go together, even though that seems like a strange combination. Both genres allow us to skewer (pun completely intended) the mainstream and certain conventions, to expose things as absurd. In some cases, they are worth laughing at, and in others, they’re worth stabbing … but in horror comedies, it’s both.
Of course, this film is also walking a fine line, as many horror movies and comedies are, between being smart and funny … and just being offensive. It seems to be self-aware of horror tropes—and mocks them, with a character screaming “You’re black! I’m gay! We are so dead!” But I hope that means the movie doesn’t fall into any homophobic or sexist stereotypes the way some “girl in a man’s body” and vice versa movie situations might.
Overall my hopes are high for Freaky, which is set for the tongue-in-cheek release date of Friday, November 13th. As I said, it would be nice if theaters were open by then, but as noted, this is a release from Universal and Blumhouse who have been the most willing to get their products out via VOD, so I’m hopeful that I will be able to safely watch Freaky … at some point before 2020 ends.
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