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Film / Freaky

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Millie: I want my body back.
The Butcher: Come and get it.

Freaky is a 2020 Teen Slasher Horror Comedy film directed by Christopher Landon (Happy Death Day, We Have a Ghost) and co-written by Landon and Michael Kennedy (Bordertown). Much like how Happy Death Day was a slasher take on the "Groundhog Day" Loop, Freaky is a slasher take on the "Freaky Friday" Flip.

High school senior Millie Kessler (Kathryn Newton) is targeted by a Serial Killer known as the Blissfield Butcher (Vince Vaughn). However, instead of being killed, Millie and the Butcher somehow swap bodies. Millie, stuck in the Butcher's body, must evade the Butcher, in her body, who is now targeting her classmates.

The film was released theatrically in the United States on November 13, 2020.

Freaky is actually a Spin-Off to the Happy Death Day trilogy; early buzz on the third and final film, Happy Death Day to Us, suggests that it will be a crossover with Freaky.

Previews: Trailer, "Slaughterhouse" Trailer

This film contains examples of:

  • Abandoned Area: The Butcher's hideout is in the old mill that has gone unused for years.
  • Action Survivor: All of the main characters survivors can count as this but especially the Kessler family at the end teaming up to kill the Butcher.
  • Alliterative Name: The Blissfield Butcher.
  • Alpha Bitch: Ryler seems to be one, complete with having a Girl Posse. She's introduced mocking Millie for wearing cheap clothes and later tries to get the dirty details of the Butcher's attack on Millie so she can gossip about it to the rest of the school.
  • Apathetic Student: Josh is in Spanish 3, yet can't understand a Spanish website regarding the dagger. Millie calls him out on being this... as does the teacher of said class when he seeks a translation from her.
  • Artistic License – Gun Safety: Charlene, a policewoman, as well as multiple other cops were shown firing out in the open which is very dangerous since stray bullets could fall back down and hit someone.
  • Artistic License – Medicine: The Butcher manages to fool the ambulance crew into thinking he's dead by slipping off the pulse oximieter that's meant to go on his finger, making them believe he's flatlined. In reality, the EKG readout would have a notification to show that the oximeter has become dislodged from the patient, and there would likely be other redundant sensors to make sure the readout was accurate.
  • Asshole Victim: Pretty much every one of the victims after the four opening kills, although even two of four, Ginny and Isaac, have clear shades of this. Ryler is a homophobic mean girl who tries to exploit Millie's attack for popularity, Millie's teacher Mr. Bernardi targets her for no reason, and the group of jocks at the end tried to gang-rape the Butcher in Millie's body (plus the one who sexually assaults Josh). And of course, it ends with the Butcher himself dying.
  • Attempted Rape: The Butcher in Millie's body is almost gang-raped by three Jerk Jocks and proceeds to kill all three.
  • Bad People Abuse Animals: The Butcher's hideout has a bunch of dead, tortured small animals hanging from nooses.
  • Bathtub Scene: Millie takes a bubble bath after the stabbing, to try to relax, but the sounds of her mother and sister arguing don't let her. Censor Suds prevent anything but her head from being seen.
  • Be Careful What You Wish For: At the start, Josh says he hopes that some straight guy at homecoming gets drunk enough to consider being curious, and brushes it off when Nyla calls such attitude "rapey". In the end, one of the supposedly straight jocks, who is visibly drunk, does show an interest, by way of giving Josh a Forceful Kiss he rejects immediately, and then threatening him.
  • Big Bad: The Blissfield Butcher is a Serial Killer with a rap sheet decades-long who makes his presence known once again For the Evulz.
  • Big Brother Instinct: Millie's older sister Char is a police officer who always looks out for her.
  • Bigger Is Better in Bed: While Millie-in-Butcher's body is peeing in the boy's bathroom, Josh can't help but ask if he's "big everywhere". Nyla puts a stop to the conversation before Millie can answer.
  • Bilingual Bonus: When the Spanish teacher is translating the inscription on the dagger, one of the things she says is, "This is weird. The dagger is Aztec, but it has a warning in Spanish."
  • Blood Knight: Judging by the Butcher's grin when he initially had trouble attacking Mr. Bernardi in Millie's body, he may enjoy the challenge of being in her body as it lets him draw out his fights.
  • Boisterous Weakling: The Blissfield Butcher is just as kill-crazy when he's a 90-pound teenage girl, but he's frequently tossed around and manhandled about as much as you'd expect. When failing to bust down a door, he gripes, "This body is useless!"
  • Brick Joke:
    • Josh tries to cheer Millie by saying she's "a real piece". The very last line of the movie is "I'm a real fucking piece" as a Bond One-Liner.
    • Millie mentions her Guilty Pleasure is Pitch Perfect 2 long after we saw the poster prominently displayed in her bedroom.
    • "Having balls sucks."
  • Bury Your Gays: Discussed when Josh screams as he is being chased that he's gay and therefore doomed. But he survives anyway.
  • Camping a Crapper: Ginny's friend Sandra is killed when the Butcher slams her head between a toilet bowl and lid.
  • Chainsaw Good: As the poster above makes clear, at a certain point the Butcher uses one on a jock, and later the bodies of him and his two friends.
  • Chekhov's Gun:
    • "Pro-tip: Always set your watch five minutes ahead. Saves my ass like every time."
    • The town clock bell tolls on the hour.
  • Comedy Horror: Albeit compared to the director's own Happy Death Day the latter part is very much played straight, complete with grisly and graphic death scenes.
  • Coming Straight Story: Parodied. The gay Josh’s attempt at trying to explain to his mother why “Millie” is tied up in their living room (and his mother thinks it is a sex game) eventually leads to him coming out as straight. Neither "Millie" nor his mother falls for this.
  • Covers Always Lie: The movie poster amusingly has Millie and the Butcher side by side at almost the same height. In the film, it's a major plot point that the Butcher's body is "a giant" and over a foot taller than Millie's.
  • Cruel and Unusual Death:
    • The Butcher’s means of killing in all cases is this. Of note is his first victim in the film, who gets a wine bottle smashed in his throat, which causes the glass to pierce through his neck from the inside.
    • Then you have Ryler being rendered a Human Popsicle at -300ºF inside a cryotherapy chamber...and then falling to the floor shattering to pieces once she's discovered.
  • Darker and Edgier: Than the Happy Death Day films set in the same universe. This movie is much more violent and there's a lot more swearing, which is part of the reason it gets an R rating rather than the PG-13 rating of its parent series.
  • Decoy Protagonist: We start out following four teens as they get whittled down to a final girl... who also dies. Then we meet the real protagonist.
  • Didn't See That Coming: The Blissfield Butcher may be a legendary serial killer, but even he was unaware that the La Dola dagger would cause a body swap between him and Millie. He still manages to make the most of his predicament, though, finding new ways to kill people via techniques such as seduction and honey traps.
  • Disappeared Dad: Millie's father died a year prior to the story, with Millie and her family still heavily feeling his loss.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: Those who taunted Millie being punished by the Butcher with Cruel and Unusual Death could be this.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: There's a Pronoun Trouble moment in the film where someone refers to another by the wrong pronoun only to be corrected by someone else, something that's reminiscent of situations of people being misgendered by someone, especially people who use they/them pronouns. It's the scene where Booker uses "her" to refer to the male Butcher in Millie's female body and Nyla says "pronouns" to correct him.
  • Evil Is Bigger: Expected when the Butcher is played by the 6' 5¼" (1,96 m) Vince Vaughn.
  • Evil Laugh: After it seems they ran out of time for the switch, Butcher!Millie gives one of these while pinned down.
  • Failed a Spot Check: Millie is clearly annoyed by how her own mother doesn't seem to find anything odd about "her" new behavior.
  • Faking the Dead: The Butcher manages this on the ambulance driving him away from the windmill party, and after killing the EMTs goes after Millie.
  • For the Evulz: All we hear of the Butcher's past is that he murdered his own mother and spent time in a hospital for the criminally insane (from which he escaped), but given the sheer glee he gets from killing and that he looks for every opportunity to indulge in it (either in his own body or in Millie's) he clearly qualifies.
  • Forceful Kiss: One of the jocks lures Josh away from the party under the impression that he (the jock) knows where Millie is. The guy reveals himself as gay by attempting to make out with Josh, who, once he pushes him away, threatens to kill him if he tells anyone. Cue the Butcher coming from behind with a hook in his eye.
  • "Freaky Friday" Flip: The Blissfield Butcher and Millie swap bodies courtesy of a mystical dagger, and now Millie-in-his-body must evade him as he wreaks havoc in her body. Presumably, the film was named as a parody of the trope (or the original Trope Naming story).
  • Gay Guy Dies First: Lampshaded by Josh; as he and Nyla run down a hallway thinking a Serial Killer is chasing them, he yells, "You're black, I'm gay, we are so dead!" In a lovely piece of Irony they both make it to the end of the film just fine.
  • Gender Bender: For the Butcher and Millie via "Freaky Friday" Flip. He's an adult man, she's a teenage girl, and both find the change discomforting (though he adjusts faster).
  • Grievous Bottley Harm: Used twice by the Butcher, in the opening scene by shoving a wine bottle top first down a teen's throat, and in the jock massacre by breaking a whiskey bottle in one's head and using the remains to slit another's neck.
  • Groin Attack:
    • Nyla kicks the Butcher in the groin before she finds out it's her friend Millie in that body. After their bodies are switched back to normal, Millie kicks the Butcher in the balls after remembering how painful it was to get hit there.
    Millie: Having balls sucks.
    • One of the jocks who tried to rape the Butcher in Millie’s body takes a chainsaw to the groin.
  • Half the Man He Used to Be: Mr. Bernardi's fate, bisected by a table saw.
  • Hand Wave: When Millie's friends ask how she plans to explain everything to the police, she just comments that she'll tell them "a version of the truth". We never see her actually do so, leaving us to wonder how she justified her friends running from the police, Nyla stealing from the evidence locker, and the overall odd and out-of-character actions of "Millie" when the Butcher was in control, including attempting to kill Josh's mother. At most, we know Nyla claimed the Butcher kidnapped her and Josh to explain why they were with him at the school, and Millie probably was able to convince Clara what happened due to her Something Only They Would Say moment earlier.
  • #HashtagForLaughs: Millie (in the Butcher's body) spews a lot of those when she sees Nyla going to the police station.
  • Hate Sink: Mr. Bernardi who is only in the film as someone to make Millie’s life miserable at school. He gives her a hard time, and no one else, in class when she did nothing to deserve it. He asked for it when the Butcher in Millie’s body came to kill him.
  • Head-Turning Beauty: The Butcher (in Millie's body) confidently walks down the school hallway while her classmates gawk at her (one even squirts the tube of mayonnaise he's holding). Millie notes that the Butcher is killing it in her body.
  • Hope Spot: During the opening massacre, Ginny outruns the Butcher and hides behind a hidden panel in her closet. However, the moment she ventures out, hears her parents arriving and thinks it's safe, her fate is sealed.
  • Horror Doesn't Settle for Simple Tuesday: The majority of the movie takes place on a Friday the 13th (in October, to push the horror theme further).
  • Huge Guy, Tiny Girl: The two central characters, leading to some slapstick once the body switch happens - the Butcher notes a few times how he's more fragile, while Millie hits her head on high branches.
  • I Miss Mom: While in the Butcher's body, Millie speaks with her mom (who's unaware of this) and tearfully says how much she misses her dad, who'd recently died.
  • Impaled with Extreme Prejudice:
    • Millie ends the Butcher’s reign of terror by jamming a broken table leg in his back, then finishes him off by kicking it through his chest.
    • The Butcher seems fond of those, using whatever he has in hand - the opening scene has him breaking a tennis racket and shoving both ends onto a teen's head and later pushing Ginny onto a spear he had thrown into the wall earlier, and the climactic windmill sequence has him shoving a hook onto a jock's eye.
  • Improvised Weapon: The Butcher seems to favor these when killing in his body, killing some of his first victims in the film with a wine bottle and a tennis racket; when he's in Millie's weaker body, he tends to use more standard weapons.
  • It Works Better with Bullets: At some point before the final confrontation at Millie's house, the Butcher removed the bullets from Char's gun, then taunts her by dropping the bullets on the ground.
  • Jabba Table Manners: Once the Butcher accepts the continuous offering of breakfast by Millie's mother, he scarfs down the food without any etiquette.
  • Jerkass:
    • Mr. Bernardi, the shop teacher, seems to have little patience for lateness or slacking off. However, no amount of sternness excuses how he verbally abuses Millie every chance he gets. Not to mention he specifically targets her by changing the due date on her assignments without warning at least once, then penalizing her grade and taunting her for not being prepared.
    • The Butcher himself. Being a Serial Killer is bad enough, but whenever he and Millie are face-to-face, he's quick to taunt her about how pathetic she is.
  • Jerk Jock: Applies to most of the Blissfield Valley jocks, with the exception of Booker. Just to keep with Millie, they throw soda on her in spite of her being part of the cheer squad. Three later try to gang-rape her while she's possessed by the Butcher, and one sexually assaults Josh.
  • Karmic Death: Everyone the Butcher crosses while possessing Millie who happened to torment Millie and then the Butcher himself in the end by means of his favorite way of killing: impalement.
  • Kubrick Stare: The Butcher in Millie's body is very fond of this look, which combined with his perpetual silence makes him frightening.
  • Lady in Red: After the Butcher swaps bodies with Millie, he shows up at school wearing a red leather jacket (taken from her sister's closet) and red lipstick as part of the makeover. Millie comments that she's killing it (and it is a marked contrast to the casual way she dressed before), and the men around her are obviously attracted.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: Four Jerk Jocks fall victim to this at the party, being killed by the Butcher while in the process of committing sexual assaults (or just after).
  • Literally Shattered Lives: After Ryler is frozen to death, Millie (in the Butcher's body) finds her and taps her, causing her to tip over and her body shatter upon hitting the floor.
  • Logo Joke: The Universal logo is tinted blood-red, while the Blumhouse one has a creepy girl bearing a knife.
  • Lovable Jock: Millie's crush Booker, in contrast to his Jerk Jock teammates.
  • MacGuffin: The dagger of La Dola, an Aztec knife used for human sacrifice, that in the occasion of a failed killing will cause body swapping.
  • Malevolent Masked Men: Lampshaded in the voiceover in the trailer. Millie sees the Blissfield Butcher emerge from the shadows and says, "Cue the creepy dude in a mask."
  • Man, I Feel Like a Woman: Once the Butcher looks in the mirror and sees he's in Millie's body, breast-grabbing ensues.
  • Match Cut: The deathly moans of Ginny's friend cuts to Ginny's orgasmic moans during a brief sex scene.
  • Matricide: It's mentioned on a news broadcast briefly that the Butcher murdered his own mother and left her head outside a Dairy Queen in 1992.
  • Misplaced-Names Poster: Averted in the metaphorical sense where the misplaced names (Vince Vaughn's name under Kathryn Newton's character and vice-versa) indicate the "Freaky Friday" Flip between the leads.
  • Mood Whiplash: The heartfelt scene where Millie's mother opens herself to a man in the store (who is actually her own daughter in a killer's body) becomes very comedic once she eventually finds a connection with this considerate man with a soothing voice and asks about the possibility of them going out...
  • Mugging the Monster: Brett and his two friends are killed when they try and gang-rape Millie while she's possessed by the Butcher.
  • Mutual Disadvantage: Zig-Zagged once the "Freaky Friday" Flip occurs. It's played straight early on as both the Butcher and Millie struggle to adapt to their new bodies. Millie learns that she has unreal Stout Strength in her new body, but being perpetually forced Off the Grid by the Butcher being Hated by All usually cancels out any advantage that may provide. The Butcher initially struggles in the body of a petite teenage girl and doesn't have the old strength to commit gruesome murders. He zigzags by adapting and learning to play Wounded Gazelle Gambits and Honey Traps, making him just as lethal as he was before but in different ways. Millie can sometimes zigzag back in those rare moments where she can get close enough to the Butcher, and easily overpower him. But that, in turn, makes her vulnerable to the Butcher's newfound style.
  • My Beloved Smother: Millie's mother is a downplayed example. After the death of her husband, she began to heavily rely on Millie and cling to her. At the start of the film, Millie was roped into going to see a play with her instead of going to the homecoming dance with her friends, and it's brought up that she probably won't let Millie move away for college because she wants her to stay close. In the end, that ends up not being the case, as she encourages Millie to apply for her school of choice.
  • My Car Hates Me: Josh's car, which he admits to being "a piece of shit", takes a while to start while trying to evade the police, but thankfully does work and remains the vehicle of choice for the rest of the movie.
  • Nice Job Fixing It, Villain: The Butcher unintentionally did Millie a favor by killing her tormentors, including Mr. Bernardi.
  • No Bisexuals: Josh has the Butcher in Millie's body bounded and gagged on a chair in his house to keep him from escaping to kill more. Josh's mom comes home earlier then he expected-she's obviously not too keen on the situation. Josh tries to say they are doing BDSM, only for his mom to point out that he is gay and Millie a "girl". You'd think he'd come out as bisexual, but the thought never even occurs to him so he tries to come out as straight. Naturally his mom doesn't believe him.
  • Older Than They Look: The Blissfield Butcher has apparently been killing since 1977 according to dialogue. Vince Vaughn was 50 when the film came out; so unless the Butcher was an Enfant Terrible, he's closer to 60 than 50 at minimum. Ginny lampshades this in the opening sequence and says that he actually started in The '90s. Unknown who's actually right.
  • Only Known by Their Nickname: The Blissfield Butcher is only known by that name except for when his last name, Sherman, is mentioned briefly on a news broadcast.
  • Ordinary High-School Student: Millie's voiceover in the trailer calls herself "ordinary, boring Millie" as she enters high school and is promptly bullied. She admits she isn't very popular... and then the "Freaky Friday" Flip happens.
  • Post-Climax Confrontation: The movie is seemingly over when Millie gets her body back and the Butcher is shot and taken into custody. However, he escapes to make one last attempt to kill her which ends with Millie putting an end to the Butcher for real.
  • Potty Failure: The boy who barks at Millie (and, given Millie's words, bullies other students) ends up peeing himself when Millie (in the Butcher's body) threatens him.
  • Pronoun Trouble: Played for Laughs. At one point, Booker refers to The Butcher (in Millie's body) as "she". Nyla immediately jumps on him, saying "pronouns!" He gets annoyed with her Skewed Priorities but corrects himself anyways.
  • Race Against the Clock: By the time Millie has convinced her friends of her identity and learned how the dagger works, they have just under nine hours to get the dagger and her body back or she's stuck in the Butcher's body forever.
  • Rule of Cool: Implied to be why the Butcher took the creepiest mask in Ginny's father's collection, and broke the case of the La Dola dagger to steal it, given that for most of the movie he had no problems going mask-less and using Improvised Weapons.
  • Serial Killer: The Blissfield Butcher himself. Whether or not he's in his own body or Millie's, he continues to kill people simply for the fun of it.
  • Sex Signals Death: A very straight case as Ginny has sex with her boyfriend (and quits as soon as she orgasms, not letting him do the same) and soon after the Butcher appears.
  • Shout-Out:
    • The Butcher's mask is somewhat reminiscent of Jason Voorhees' famous hockey mask. He also bursts through a glass door in the same way Jason did in Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter.
    • The Butcher does a Michael Myers Quizzical Tilt after the wall impalement murder in the opening scene.
    • Booker's last name is Strode, in honor of Laurie Strode.
    • When asking Millie test questions to confirm her identity in the Butcher's body, she admits that she tells people her favorite film is Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, but it's really Pitch Perfect 2.
    • When the Butcher (in Millie's body) attacks Josh and his mother from behind a door, the low camera angle on the Butcher's side is facing directly up at him like Jack Torrance in the freezer in The Shining.
  • Silent Antagonist: The Butcher is a very quiet menace, with his introduction in Millie's body downright startling her mother with how silent and scowling he behaves (although she attributes that to Millie still being traumatized by the previous night's attack). He starts talking more over time, often to lure others in or play Wounded Gazelle Gambit, then when he confronts Millie at her home in the climax he outright monologues.
  • Something Only They Would Say: When meeting her friends in the Butcher's body, Millie proves it's her by doing her mascot dance, followed by the secret handshake ("Shake, bitches!") only they would know. She later does it again for Booker by reciting the poem she left in his locker. Implied with Clara, as Millie (in the Butcher's body) apologizes for a couple things in her past before running away, but we never see for sure if Clara put two and two together.
  • Surprisingly Realistic Outcome:
    • Body swapping aside, the Blissfield Butcher and his murder spree are portrayed more realistically than most slasher villains tend to be. As soon as he starts killing people, the authorities immediately issue a curfew and put out an arrest warrant once they figure out what he looks like. Absolutely none of the adults in this movie are portrayed as ignorant or useless; they take the threat very seriously.
    • The Butcher is a very tall, muscular, and strong man, allowing him to overpower his victims easily. Then he gets put in the body of a petite teenage girl, and suddenly brute strength isn't an option anymore, resulting in victims often fighting back and forcing him to get creative.
  • Tap on the Head: Played straight when Mille "Butcher" body knocks out the Butcher "Millie" and Booker they get knocked out presumably for at least over a hour. As they had time to carry their bodies to Josh's house and even tie up the Butcher "Mille" but without any clear sides of a major concussion for either of them.
  • Teaser-Only Character: Ginny, her boyfriend, and their two friends end up discovering the wrong way that the Blissfield Butcher is not an urban legend.
  • Ticking Clock: Millie has 24 hours to get back into her original body or be stuck in the killer's body.
  • Token Trio: Millie (a white girl then later a white man) and her two friends Nyla (a black girl) and Josh (a gay guy) form this.
  • Trailers Always Lie: The trailer implies that Millie has a running voiceover, which is not the case in the film proper.
  • Trailers Always Spoil: The trailer shows the deaths of Mr. Bernardi (Millie’s woodshop teacher) and Ryler (the bully who ends up frozen and shattered).
  • Vanity License Plate: Josh's broken-down car has a license plate reading "HEY BTCH".
  • Villain Opening Scene: The opening follows the resurgence of the Blissfield Butcher as he slaughters four teens and steals a magic dagger from the house.
  • When the Clock Strikes Twelve: The body swap happened at midnight, and has to be undone by then.
  • You Are Too Late: This seemingly happens when Booker's watch rings at midnight but then Josh realizes that he didn't hear the town clock bell, reminding Millie that Booker told her he intentionally sets his watch five minutes ahead so it's easier for him to be on time and proceeds to stab her body to get it back.

Alternative Title(s): Freaky 2020