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Christopher Landon
Vince Vaughn, Kathryn Newton, Celeste O'Connor
Writing Credits:
Christopher Landon, Michael Kennedy

After swapping bodies with a deranged serial killer, a high school student discovers she has less than 24 hours before the change becomes permanent.

Rated R.

Aspect Ratio: 2.39:1
English DTS-HD MA 5.1
Spanish DTS 5.1
French DTS 5.1
English DVS
Supplements Subtitles:

Runtime: 102 min.
Price: $34.98
Release Date: 2/9/2021

• Audio Commentary with Writer/Director Christopher Landon
• 3 Deleted Scenes
• 4 Featurettes
• Preview
• DVD Copy


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Freaky [Blu-Ray] (2020)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (February 16, 2021)

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, plenty of movies got their theatrical releases postponed or cancelled altogether. Not 2020’s Freaky, though, as it stayed with its original date of November 13.

While this unquestionably altered the film’s ticket sales, the producers apparently couldn’t resist the lure of a Friday the 13th release date. That seemed especially true because the movie acts as a hybrid of two Friday-related flicks: 1977’s Freaky Friday and 1980’s Friday the 13th.

All the kids in town know of the “Blissfield Butcher”, a serial killer from the 1970s mainly viewed as an urban legend. However, four unfortunate teens soon learn that the Butcher (Vince Vaughn) exists, as he brutally murders the youngsters.

The Butcher’s reign of terror doesn’t stop there, though. High school senior Millie Kressler (Kathryn Newton) performs as the football team’s mascot and the Butcher attacks her after the homecoming game.

Millie’s police officer sister Charlene (Dana Drori) scares off the Butcher before he can kill the teen, but this leaves her with a shoulder wound – and more. Because the Butcher used a mystical knife, a radical transformation occurs.

This means that when Millie wakes up on Friday the 13th, she finds herself stuck in the Butcher’s body. Millie needs to find out how to switch back – and stay alive – before this swap becomes permanent.

If nothing else, Freaky comes with a pretty inspired concept, one that I find myself surprised no one explored prior to 2020. Not that a mashup of Freaky Friday and Friday the 13th offered totally obvious territory, but it still seems like such a good fit I would think someone would’ve tried it years ago.

Better late than never, and I went into Freaky with moderately high expectations. Some of that stemmed from the cleverness of the idea, some came from the saucy semi-spoof approach the trailers implied, and some related to the movie’s consistently positive reviews.

How did I react to the final product? Meh.

I do feel glad to see an actual “R”-rated horror movie, especially given this one’s subject matter. I figured it’d go “PG-13”, so the choice to opt for “R” – and the resultant graphic violence – pleased me.

However, as a movie, Freaky never manages to live up to its promising premise. It doesn’t become enough of a horror film to scare, and it lacks the comedic chops to prompt many laughs.

Not that Freaky becomes an unenjoyable experience, as it manages reasonable entertainment across its 102 minutes. The movie remains playful enough to keep us with it.

However, Freaky lacks the real cleverness it needs to prosper, and even the talented cast can’t change that. I like Vaughn and he amuses when he plays Millie, though he doesn’t fit the role well.

By that I mean we never buy Vaughn’s version of Millie. Vaughn essentially plays the part as a cliché middle-aged-man’s-view-of-a-teen-girl, and it doesn’t match with Newton’s work as the character. Vaughn’s Millie seems much dumber and flightier than Newton’s.

Newton fares better when she plays the Butcher, at least partly because he gets less definition pre-body swap than Millie does. The role offers little definition pre-swap, so Newton gets room to choose how to portray the role.

Newton does so in a solid manner, as she conveys the Butcher’s threat and menace well without overplaying. She does nicely in both parts and turns into one of the better aspects of the film, even if it seems preposterous that everyone at her school thinks she’s unattractive pre-Butcher makeover.

To be sure, Freaky offers an above-average genre flick, as it maintains reasonable entertainment value. I still view it as a moderate disappointment, though, for the execution doesn’t live up to the story’s promise.

The Disc Grades: Picture B+/ Audio B+/ Bonus B-

Freaky appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 2.39:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. The movie offered a quality presentation.

Sharpness worked well. Only minor softness ever marred the image, so the movie boasted accurate delineation most of the time.

No signs of jagged edges or moiré effects materialized, and I witnessed no instances of edge haloes. Print flaws also failed to mar the proceedings.

To the surprise of no one, Freaky went with amber/orange and teal, though we got some pink and a few other hues at times as well. The image reproduced the colors as intended.

Blacks seemed dense and deep, while shadows offered appropriate smoothness and clarity. The Blu-ray displayed the film well.

In addition, the film’s DTS-HD MA 5.1 soundtrack added oomph to the proceedings, as the soundscape opened up matters in a positive manner. Music offered nice breadth and filled the channels in a consistent manner.

With a mix of lively scenes, the soundfield offered a lot of chances for fireworks, and it used them well. Various “action beats” appeared in addition to basic scares and created an involving impression.

Audio quality appeared good, with speech that came across as natural and distinctive. Effects also seemed accurate and tight, with clear reproduction of these components.

Music worked well, as the songs/score boasted solid range and dimensionality. This became a more than satisfactory track for the film.

As we shift to extras, we get an audio commentary from writer/director Christopher Landon. He brings a running, screen-specific look at story and characters, sets and locations, cast and performances, music, effects and gore, stunts and action, influences, and connected domains.

This becomes a pretty solid chat, as Landon covers the film well. He offers a brisk take on various topics and turns this into an informative discussion.

Three Deleted Scenes fill a total of five minutes, 27 seconds. We find “The Butcher Lends a Hand” (1:41), “Charlene Hears a Rumor” (0:34) and “Late for the Party” (3:12).

The first two seem insubstantial. “Party” doesn’t really add to the story, but it brings some amusement and seems worth a look.

Four promotional featurettes finish the disc. We get “Split Personalities” (2:24), “Crafting the Kills” (3:35), “Christopher Landon’s Brand of Horror” (2:35), and “Final Girl Reframed” (2:48).

Across these, we hear from Landon, production executive Adam Hendricks, makeup effects design consultant Tony Gardner, stunt coordinator Mark Rayner, and actors Kathryn Newton, Vince Vaughn, Celeste O’Connor, and Misha Osherovich.

The featurettes look at cast and performances, the movie’s violence, Landon’s impact on the shoot, story and characters. “Split” and “Kills” manage decent information, but the other two seems fluffy.

The disc opens with an ad for Come Play. No trailer for Freaky appears here.

As a mix of comedy, spoof and horror, Freaky becomes a moderately engaging movie. However, it never quite lives up to its potential, so it gives us a watchable but somewhat disappointing affair. The Blu-ray boasts very good picture and audio along with a mix of bonus materials. Expect a decent but not great genre flick.

Viewer Film Ratings: 3 Stars Number of Votes: 1
1 3:
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