Review: Freaky is a familiar-but-fun riff on the classic body swap concept

Vince Vaughn and Kathryn Newton star as a serial killer and a high school student who swap bodies in the new horror comedy Freaky, written and directed by Christopher Landon.

Walt Disney Studios struck the proverbial motherlode in 1976 with its now-classic body-swap comedy Freaky Fridaystarring Jodie Foster and Barbara Harris as a daughter and mother who switch bodies. Both Foster and Harris received Golden Globe nominations for their performances, even though the film received mixed reviews.  The studio has returned to that vein multiple times, with a 1995 TV movie remake, a 2018 TV musical for the Disney Channel, and a critically acclaimed 2003 remake with Lindsey Lohan and Jamie Lee Curtis in the lead roles.

The latest twist on the body-swapping concept is not even remotely family-friendly. Vince Vaughn stars as an aging serial killer who switches bodies with a hapless teenaged girl in Freaky, which also pays homage to classic teen slasher movies like Friday the 13th (1980) and Scream (1996). Universal Pictures debuted the film at Beyond Fest in October. The film hit theaters (despite the pandemic) on Friday, November 13th, garnering solid reviews and eking out $7.2 million at the box office so far—not a bad showing considering how many movie theaters remain closed. It’s now available on VOD, and makes for an entertaining, if familiar-feeling, weekend watch.

(Some spoilers below.)

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