There’s all the time been a bit of teenybopper lady about Vince Vaughn, who, regardless of his towering peak, can expertly break into a giggle or hissy match. It’s what makes his new film “Freaky” such an pleasing new entry in the body-swap genre, as Vaughn performs a serial killer referred to as the Butcher who swaps our bodies with anxious excessive schooler Millie (Kathryn Newton).
Newton’s no slouch both as a psycho-possessed teen, locking onto one college bully after one other. The film marks a new path for the genre, mashing it up (if generally awkwardly) with horror tropes and a beneficiant serving to of “Heathers”-esque bitchiness. It’s a ripe event to look again by means of the ranks of body-swap films over the a long time, which have often soared to brilliance — and, even at their most generic, are typically stable guilty-pleasure materials.
The title of “Freaky” ideas its hat to “Freaky Friday,” the mom of the genre; it has been made 4 instances, to date. A younger Jodie Foster made the 1976 model a standout, however it’s the 2003 remake, with Lindsay Lohan and Jamie Lee Curtis as the mom and daughter who swap our bodies, that is the better of the bunch. Who can overlook Curtis, taken over by a teenage Lohan, shrieking “I’m like the crypt-keeper!” into the mirror — or lengthy for the days when Lohan was a plucky, coherent film star?
It’s no shock youth-obsessed Hollywood has been churning out films about returning to adolescence since eternally, however there have been some actual gluts: 1987 to 1989 alone gave us “Big,” “Like Father, Like Son,” “Vice Versa,” “18 Again!” and “Dream a Little Dream.” Tom Hanks’ efficiency as Josh Baskin, a tween trapped in the physique of a grownup, made “Big” a basic of kinds — though it isn’t with out an ick issue, significantly Hanks’ man-child’s scenes with love curiosity Elizabeth Perkins. As for the others, “Vice Versa,” with saucer-eyed Fred Savage and Judge Reinhold doing respectable impressions of one another, is the clear runner-up. Later got here the comparable, so-so Zac Efron/Matthew Perry car “17 Again” (2009), and the superior “13 Going on 30” (2004), through which Jennifer Garner channels her inside teen with infectious pleasure.
Truly memorable body-swap films, although, are the ones that cast iconic actors and allow them to go nuts. The heavyweight champ is 1997’s “Face/Off,” a fantastically ludicrous John Woo motion film through which Nicolas Cage and John Travolta get to play one another because of a plot about, nicely, getting their faces taken off. And swapped.
Previously, 1984’s “All of Me” went in a barely completely different path, having Steve Martin’s character internalize Lily Tomlin’s. It was an impressed function for the then-slapstick comedian, whose “completely satisfied toes” stand-up bit was a good match for strolling down the road as two comics trapped in a single. And 1992’s “Prelude to a Kiss” made for an unusually melancholy entry in the genre, with America’s reigning big-screen sweetheart Meg Ryan enjoying a whimsical Ryan-y character possessed by an outdated man.
The 2010s weren’t a banner decade for body-swapping flicks, with the exception of 2016’s anime “Your Name,” a international, Gen-Z megahit. Last 12 months’s Issa Rae/Regina Hall comedy “Little” fell flat regardless of a cute plot. But the two “Jumanji” reboots gave Dwayne Johnson, Kevin Hart and Jack Black some good riffing materials, significantly Hart, who did a killer Danny Glover impersonation in 2019’s “The Next Level.”
We cannot argue “Freaky” takes the genre to the subsequent degree, precisely — however it’s nonetheless bloody good enjoyable.