The concept of the body-swap story is almost always played for laughs. However, a new film finally takes the premise of literally switching bodies with another person and plants it firmly in the genre it belongs: horror. I’m not a big fan of horror movies, but having said that, I also have to admit that I am absolutely in love with Blumhouse and its innovative horror offerings. The production house reinvigorated the genre with original stories and new takes on established formulas. They continue this trend in the Freaky trailer, a new horror-comedy that’s not actually that new at all.
The film Freaky Friday first debuted in 1976, and since then it’s been adapted three more times. While this may not technically be an adaptation of that same story, the filmmakers clearly want us to make the connection.
How Blumhouse Became The Prominent Horror Movie Studio
Image via Blumhouse Productions
Blumhouse had very small beginnings. The production house started by Jason Blum began with very low-budget, but incredibly well-made horror movies. Based on their modest budget, the movies did extremely well at the box office. Movies like Paranormal Activity, Insidious and Sinister were some of the studio’s biggest hits. Eventually, they expanded into thrillers and other, horror-adjacent genres with movies like The Purge, Split and Upgrade.
Blumhouse is now known for providing directors with a lot of creative freedom and it’s paid off for them in spades. The studio even brought back the Halloween franchise to a lot of critical acclaim, spawning even more upcoming sequels. So Blumhouse’s Freaky trailer comes as no surprise as it seemingly expands into another sub-genre of movies.
Blumhouse’s Freaky Trailer Homages a Very Popular Fantasy Trope
The trailer for Blumhouse’s Freaky is pretty awesome. Unlike many other movies from the studio, the trailer begins as a typical teenage coming of age movie with a young girl narrating her less-than perfect life. Millie (Kathryn Newton) is a typical teenager living a mediocre high school existence, with all the drama and angst that comes with it. But one day, she becomes the victim of a serial killer, which is a great twist. But not the only twist, because instead of getting killed by him, Millie ends up switching bodies with the murderer.
So Millie is in the body of a local serial killer, while the killer is in her own body, rampaging around town. And the biggest kicker to this already hilarious premise, is that the serial killer is none other than Vince Vaughn himself. What follows is Vaughn as a teenage girl having to convince her friends to join her in tracking down a serial killer in her own body before he kills their townspeople. And if that doesn’t tickle your freaky funny bones, then I don’t know what will.
Why The Freaky Trailer Is A Genius Idea From a Creative And Business Standpoint
Image via Blumhouse Productions
Blumhouse’s Freaky trailer points out a great idea and a way to capitalize on many demographics. Blumhouse has also always been incredibly shrewd when it comes to marketing their films. This business-savvy comes through in the Freaky trailer as well. After their more straightforward horror movies, the studio dabbled in putting a horror spin on a familiar comedy premise. Happy Death Day was very much Groundhog’s Day, but one where the lead character’s murder reset the day. And Freaky comes from the same director, so the trend continues. It’s also retroactively obvious that these fantasy concepts can work in a horror space.
It’s a premise that we’ve already seen before in movies like The Hot Chick, where a middle-aged Rob Schneider switched bodies with the then up-and-coming Rachel McAdams. But Freaky is definitely aiming at the movie that set the standard for body-switching stories, Freaky Friday. With multiple remakes for multiple generations, Blumhouse’s Freaky is (finally) an original spin on the Freaky Friday concept. The movie even debuts on a Friday. The movie works as a gory slasher horror, but also an amazing comedy along the likes of Shaun Of The Dead.
It will appeal to horror fans, comedy fans, not to mention that super niche (but passionate) group of Vince Vaughn fans. Vaughn in a wacky comedy movie doing what he does best is a return to the kind of movies that made him who he is. Yet, as the serial killer, he’s able to draw on his experience playing darker characters and villains. I am not a fan of horror movies usually, but this one feels like a must-see.
Freaky releases in theaters on November 13.
What did you think of Blumhouse’s Freaky trailer? Let me know in the comments below.
Featured image via Blumhouse Productions
Shah Shahid is an entertainment writer, movie critic (so he thinks), host of the Split Screen Podcast (on Apple Podcasts & everywhere else) and filmy father on a mission to educate his girls on decades of film history. Armed with uncontrollable sarcasm and cautious optimism, Shah loves discussing film, television and comic book content until his wife’s eyes glaze over. So save her by engaging him on his own blog at BlankPageBeatdown.com or on Twitter @theshahshahid.