Skip to main content

Despite Its Mockery of Horror Tropes, Freaky Succumbs to Stereotypes

India has been an avid fan of all things spooky and scary ever since she can remember.


"You’re Black! I’m gay! We are so dead!"

— Freaky, 2020

Millie Kessler (Kathryn Newton) is the first to admit she's average in every way—the type of girl who would be the first to die at the hands of a psycho killer. Unfortunately for Millie, her prediction comes true—sort of. After being attacked by the legendary Blissfield Butcher, she switches bodies with her assailant! As a result, instead of worrying about finding a date to the school dance Millie must reclaim her body before the Butcher slaughters all her friends. To make matters (even) worse, there’s a time limit…

Despite its unique premise and tongue-in-cheek humor, ultimately Freaky is hindered by the very stereotypes it attempts to subvert. That’s not to say the movie isn’t enjoyable—it just isn’t as revolutionary as it appears. Though horror tropes are commented on throughout the film, this is done for comedic effect rather than to critique such cliches. For example, Josh points out that members of minority groups such as the LGBT community are often the first to die in horror flicks. However, although he survives the movie's portrayal of Josh relies heavily on stereotypes about gay men. Weak and effeminate, Josh often makes inappropriate sexual remarks—even in situations where such things should be the least of his worries. For instance, during a discussion about how to get Millie's body back he asks her about the size of the Butcher' (Gross.) As you can see, although Josh lives until the end, he hardly contributes anything important to the story.

Millie, too, is a stock character. Introduced as a basic white girl, she remains bland throughout the movie, with no distinguishing features save her somewhat- uncommon name (the 1143rd most popular moniker in the United States, to be exact). Ironically, the only time Millie seems to have a personality is when the Butcher is inhabiting her body. Then again, you can’t grow as a character if you don’t have much character to begin with!

Regardless of these drawbacks, if you’re looking for a laugh Freaky isn't the worst choice. Lack of social commentary aside, watching a middle-aged man act like a teenage girl is rather amusing, and there's enough witty dialogue to make you chuckle. Nevertheless, I must admit that I am always annoyed by movies such as this one, which promises much but fails to deliver. Ah, well. Such is life.

Scroll to Continue

© 2022 India LaPalme

Related Articles