It’s my pleasure to say that with Freaky we’re back to Christopher Langdon’s brand of energetic and delightful modern slashers movie “with a twist”.
This time it’s NOT a Groundhound Day time-loop applied to a slasher movie, but another popular twist, as in “body swapping” between the heroine/final girl and the killer (via a mystical sacrifical dagger), an indirect “reversal”, as our troubled teen girl has to go back in her body and do it fast as the spell will be irreversable after 24 hours, with the killer using the advantages of his new body to continue the murder spree at the school prom.
While the main twist is indeed fresh for the slasher subgenre, and Langdon’s script fully utilizes for dramatic and comedic effect (while also obviously giving a spin to the chasing killer trope), Freaky is both style AND substance, able to hit many of the satisfying slasher elements, like the satisfaction of the killer tearing up detestable characters, the fairly graphic and unapologetic gore of the more elaborate kills, keeping most of the traditional elements.
It’s not just a cynically conceived gimmicky twist hurriedly scribbled to akwardly “spice up” an otherwise uncaring crap slasher, it’s clearly crafted and written with a clear understanding of the genre/subgenre, and while it’s very funny, with the same whimsical tone seen in previous Langdon’s film, it’s not a satire or parody, but a proper slasher movie in itself, one with great actors like Vincent Vaughn and Kathryin Newton, giving off great performances.
Even if you weren’t crazy for the director previous films (wasn’t too fond of the second Happy Death Day, myself), it can’t be denied it’s a very confidently written, acted and directed blend of horror and comedy that successfully lays an old fan favourite twist on the slasher formula.