As far as scary movies go, 2020 has been quite the fright in itself. If there's still an ounce of your being that is ready and able to endure the stress of watching a horror film, then you've surely already added the 2020 slasher film, cross-body-swap comedy, Freaky, to your list.
Drawing comparisons to Lindsey Lohan and Jamie Lee Curtis' iconic 2003 film Freaky Friday (only, a lot more sinister), Freaky stars Kathryn Newtown (Big Little Lies) as Millie – an awkward, petite, blonde high schooler – who in a strange and remarkable turn of events, happens to swap bodies with the town's infamous and dangerous killer, the Blissfield Butcher, played by Vince Vaughn. A little different from swapping bodies with your mum we'll admit, but both equally as terrifying. What ensues is a carefully considered mix of comedy and horror that will leave you in stitches one minute, and screaming the next.
Watch the full trailer below.
Although initially, Freaky may be perceived like any other horror film, the nuanced way in which gender and sexuality are explored throughout the film should be recognised. Under the guise of typical horror-film tropes, the film embeds a conversation about the way young women are treated by other men – from Millie's callous and undeniably creepy teacher, to the group of boys who try to sexually exploit her – and the impact such treatment can have on a young woman already uncomfortable in her own shell.
Further, the film dismantles the idea that slasher-villains such as Halloween’s Michael Myers or Friday the 13th’s Jason Voorhees are successfully terrifying due to their intimidating stature and how physically unstoppable they seem to be. Newton embodies this ability to insight fear with ease, despite not possessing any of those traditional characteristics.
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Freaky's writer-director, Christopher Landon, initially emerged from the Paranormal Activity franchise, later cementing his place in the horror-comedy genre with his film, Happy Death Day. With this in mind, it makes sense that Landon is familiar with the concept of taking a traditional horror victim, the female, and subverting the "damsel in distress" characterisation into a stronger lead.
If you're in need of a good scare, Freaky is available to watch in cinemas now.