Home » Media »  Freaky

Freaky


Misha Osherovich, Melissa Collazo, Kathryn Newton and Celeste O'Connor star in a scene from the movie "Freaky." The Catholic News Service classification is O -- morally offensive. The Motion Picture Association rating is R -- restricted. Under 17 requires accompanying parent or adult guardian. (CNS photo/Universal Pictures)

Help us expand our reach! Please share this article

NEW YORK (CNS) -- The body-swapping genre is a well-established one in Hollywood.

Although numerous other titles could be cited, it's perhaps most obviously typified by the various film adaptations of author Mary Rodgers' 1972 children's novel "Freaky Friday," made both for the big screen and TV.

Theoretically, the idea of taking this premise and mashing it up with the cliches of the teen-victim slasher movie would seem to have some potential. In "Freaky" (Universal), however, the gruesome bloodletting that marks such franchises as "Friday the 13th" and "A Nightmare on Elm Street" is all-too-faithfully reproduced, squelching any potential enjoyment that might be had from this mix of horror and comedy.

In place of Rodgers' mother-and-daughter duo, "Freaky" features a vicious serial killer known as The Butcher (Vince Vaughn) and misfit high school student Millie Kessler (Kathryn Newton). Just as Millie is about to become The Butcher's latest prey, the mysterious alchemy of his murder weapon -- an exotic knife purloined from one of his earlier crime scenes -- kicks in, switching their souls.

The predator quickly realizes the potential benefits of his newfound disguise and seeks to take advantage of them. Millie, by contrast, becomes a fugitive since publicity surrounding The Butcher's assault on her has made his appearance widely known.

Eventually enlisting the help of her two best friends, Nyla (Celeste O'Connor) and Joshua (Misha Osherovich), Millie scrambles to reverse the spell -- which, she has learned, will become permanent if not undone within 24 hours.

Along with the unrestrained mayhem in which it engages, director and co-writer (with Michael Kennedy) Christopher Landon's picture is further hobbled by chatter promoting notions of sexual fluidity. These come principally through would-be witty exchanges between political correctness maven Nyla and openly gay Joshua.

Compared to the misuse to which The Butcher puts the shop class table saw, however, such misguided dialogue seems a mere distraction.

The film contains excessive gory violence, a wayward view of human sexuality, graphic casual sex, about a half-dozen uses of profanity, several milder oaths, pervasive rough and frequent crude language and an obscene gesture. The Catholic News Service classification is O -- morally offensive. The Motion Picture Association rating is R -- restricted. Under 17 requires accompanying parent or adult guardian.

- - -

Mulderig is on the staff of Catholic News Service.

- - -

CAPSULE REVIEW

"Freaky" (Universal)

Gruesome bloodletting squelches any potential enjoyment that might be had from this combination of horror and comedy, intended as a teen-victim slasher movie riff on the body-swapping genre typified by the various film adaptations of author Mary Rodgers' 1972 children's novel "Freaky Friday." In this case, the exchange takes place between a vicious serial killer (Vince Vaughn) and the misfit high schooler (Kathryn Newton) who is about to become his latest victim when the mysterious alchemy of his murder weapon, an exotic knife purloined from one of his earlier crime scenes, switches their souls. As the predator takes advantage of his newfound disguise, the student and her two best friends (Celeste O'Connor and Misha Osherovich) scramble to reverse the spell, which will become permanent if not undone within 24 hours. Chatter promoting notions of sexual fluidity to which Osherovich's openly gay character is a principal contributor further hobbles director and co-writer Christopher Landon's picture, though compared to the misuse to which the shop-class table saw gets put, such misguided dialogue seems a mere distraction. Excessive gory violence, a wayward view of human sexuality, graphic casual sex, about a half-dozen uses of profanity, several milder oaths, pervasive rough and frequent crude language, an obscene gesture. The Catholic News Service classification is O -- morally offensive. The Motion Picture Association rating is R -- restricted. Under 17 requires accompanying parent or adult guardian.

- - -

CLASSIFICATION

"Freaky" (Universal) -- Catholic News Service classification, O -- morally offensive. Motion Picture Association rating, R -- restricted. Under 17 requires accompanying parent or adult guardian.

Help us expand our reach! Please share this article

Submit a Letter to the Editor