Vaughn and Newton pull double duty playing both the killer and the teenage girl, giving each an energy that could easily have tipped into hammy or campy yet never does. They imbue both characters with vigor, commitment, and physicality, and the levity and darkness that they bring is never anything other than a blast. There is an intensity to Newton’s stare as the killer that cuts like a knife and an air to Vaughn’s Millie, which genuinely makes you wonder if this is the most fun he’s had with a role for well over a decade. While Newton has undoubtedly arrived here, Vaughn is back in a big way.
Kudos must be given to Misha Osherovich as Josh and Celeste O’Connor as Nyla, Millie’s best friends. Both bring an entertaining and engaging balance to the equation creating a believable and immediately winning dynamic. Similarly, composer Bear McCreary brings home the bacon when it comes to Freaky’s score which drives the movie forward with urgency and confidence.
What Freaky also manages to do, seemingly effortlessly, is to include humanity and vulnerability to some of the relationships which culminate in a sweet moment between Vaughn, as Millie, and her mother, played by Kate Finneran, in a changing room. It is beautifully executed and punctuates the movie perfectly before diving back into the madness. And while Freaky also ticks the horny teens box, the ways Landon handles sex and sexuality are refreshingly heart-warming and, on occasion, laugh out loud funny.
Freaky is not without its flaws, though. The backstory of the dagger used to try and kill Millie — and which had a pivotal role in the body swap — gets a little lost in the mix. Furthermore, the ending is something of an anti-climax considering the build-up to it. It’d be interesting to find out if the ending Freaky delivers is the one that was initially intended or what, if any, alternatives may have been left on the cutting room floor and why. Those issues aside, Freaky is one of the most entertaining films of the year and more than lives up to the promise of its fun trailer.
IGN’s Best Reviewed Movies of 2020