Is ‘Freaky’ a Horror Movie?

Freaky is a lot of things. It is a body swap movie. Since high school girl Millie (Kathryn Newton) switches bodies with a middle-aged serial killer The Butcher (Vince Vaughn), it’s a comedy. But, is Freaky a horror movie? 

Freaky star Vince Vaughn holding Kathryn Newton at knifepoint
Vince Vaughn and Kathryn Newton | Universal Pictures

Freaky is now available on DVD and Blu-ray. In the bonus features, writer-director Christopher Landon discusses that very thing. Newton and Vaughn share their perspective, too.

Is ‘Freaky’ a horror movie or a comedy?

It was definitely Landon’s plan that you could not easily fit Freaky into one genre. If people are asking, “Is Freaky a horror movie?” then he did his job.

“If I’m being fair, it’s a comedy horror,” Landon said. “It’s a really sort of weird, funky collision of genres. I think if I have a certain style and a trademark it’s that I actually blend more than just the two.”

Vaughn was impressed by the mix of horror and other genres, too. 

Horror movie Freaky: The Butcher attacking Millie
Kathryn Newton and Vince Vaughn | Brian Douglas/Universal Pictures

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“It’s hard to mix genres,” Vaughn said. “You set a tone with the audience and then you break those expectations, it’s hard to do just consistently for a comedy or a horror. To be able to go back and forth and have the audience laugh and feel comfortable to do so, and then also jump and be afraid is a quilt that’s not as easily woven as it may seem.”

It wasn’t as difficult for Landon as Vaughn might have thought, though.

“If you can create characters that are relatable and likeable, you’ll kind of go anywhere with them,” Landon said. 

But yes, ‘Freaky’ is still a horror movie

Freaky still has a serial killer. The Butcher kills people in elaborate ways that give Freddy and Jason a run for their money. If that’s not horror, what is?

“I honestly did not want to make a hardcore slasher film without gore,” Landon said. “We went hard at the violence. I think they all have their own sort of cool, unique personality. There aren’t any deaths that are the same in this movie. I always try to go as far as I can because we also have permission to do it in a movie like this.”

Freaky director Christopher Landon and star Kathryn Newton
Christopher Landon and Kathryn Newton | Brian Douglas/Universal Pictures

The comedy did make the horror of Freaky go down a little easier for Newton, she said. Even though she was in Paranormal Activity 4, she is sensitive to scary movies. 

“This movie blends horror and comedy so well,” Newton said. “I usually watch movies and my eyes are closed the whole time so at least this one, you’re going to want to keep your eyes open. We have this really gory horror concept. It’s so much fun.”

It has a final girl, too

So, is Freaky a horror movie? Well, it has a final girl so it must be. Marilyn Burns in The Texas Chainsaw Massacre and Jamie Lee Curtis in Halloween typified the last survivor. Millie was always going to be Freaky’s final girl.

Freaky Blu-ray
Now available | Universal Studios Home Entertainment

“Final girls are typically a survivor that makes it to the end,” Landon said. “Typically sweet, demure. Millie begins as sort of like a classic tropey final girl, but because she ends up in a very scary man’s body, she goes on a very unique journey and really comes out of her shell.”