Vince Vaughn is a pretty girl.
Since I summarized Becky as effectively R-rated Home Alone, I think it’s only appropriate that I refer to Freaky as R-rated Hot Chick. It’s another shlocky film that’s been sitting in my collection for the past year or so that I’ve been casually skipping over. Maybe it’s because the prospect of Vince Vaughn playing a serial killer who is embodied by a teenage girl is a concept that could go horribly wrong. I don’t read reviews so I had no idea how well it was received.
The good news is that Freaky was much better than I anticipated. Directed by Christopher Landon, the writer of every Paranormal Activity movie since the second, Freaky is the latest in the body swap film genre that comes around maybe once every five years. The last big name body swap movie was 2016’s Nine Lives. You know, back when Kevin Spacey was a name you wanted to see in a film.
Vince Vaughn plays the Blissfield Butcher, a serial killer who becomes something of a legend in the town of Blissfield for coming around and killing students on and approximating homecoming dance night. The adorable Kathryn Newton plays Millie Kessler, a high-school student who has all the high school problems. Her crush doesn’t seem to recognize her, the popular girls bully her because her family is a little on the poor side, and her mom is a raging alcoholic widow. Because if there’s one thing we know about widows thanks to Hollywood, it’s that they’re all depressed alcoholics. Alan Ruck is here to be the asshole teacher you can’t wait to see get murdered.
But wacky times are afoot when thanks to the power of a mysterious ceremonial knife, Millie and the Butcher find their consciousness swapped between bodies. Yes, the high school girl is now in the body of a six foot tall brick shithouse, and Vince Vaughn is once again a teenage girl. Hilarity is no doubt to ensue as Vince Vaughn talks about his penis, does cheerleading moves, and crushes on all the teenage boys but in a high pitched voice.
Honestly it sounds like I’m hating on the movie, but it was enjoyable to watch. It’s not the kind of film that I would go out of my way to watch, but since I already owned the physical copy twice by accident it wasn’t a waste of an hour and a half. Celeste O’Connor and Misha Osherovich play supporting roles as Millie’s best friends who very quickly accept that Millie is now in the body of Vince Vaughn and help her out. The plot device itself has some reasonable if highly telegraphed twists, but ultimately satisfying set up and payoff.
Also I really laughed at the homeless guy trying to buy drugs from Vince Vaughn saying “I knew you had drugs. Give me some, I want to feel like a teenage girl too.” Freaky is utterly stupid, but it’s an enjoyable stupid and rather intelligently crafted. The film is also available on HBO Max at the time I’m publishing this.