Linda Cook review: ‘Freaky’ will have you screaming … with laughter

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“Freaky” will have you laughing … while you scream.

The latest Blumhouse hybrid of horror and comedy, a movie for grownups only, works beautifully. Its title refers to “Freaky Friday,” a movie made in the 1970s (Jodie foster was the star) and again in 2003 with Lindsay Lohan and Jamie Lee Curtis as a daughter and mother who swap bodies.

A batch of other body-swap movies, including the beloved “Big,” have been made, too, and this is a nod to the general theme that has entertained audiences of all ages for decades.

Kathryn Newton (“Big Little Lies”) stars as Millie, a high-school girl who doesn’t quite fit in (thank goodness for her two best friends, always on hand to support her.)

Teenagers joke about the legend of the Blissfield Butcher (Vince Vaughn) a sociopath who strikes during homecoming season.

It’s funny until bodies start piling up.

Millie almost becomes one of his victims but, because of a dagger with strange powers, they end up switching bodies. Now Millie looks like Vince Vaughn, and vice versa. It’s easy for the killer to get around now, but how can a student who looks like grown man get into the high school and convince her two best friends it’s really her? (This happens, to great comical effect.)

Naturally, time is of the essence, because if the bodies don’t switch soon, things will stay just as they are.

Director and co-writer Christopher Landon also gave us the “Happy Death Day” movies, which I enjoy, too. If you’re among the fans of those flicks you’ll love the approach this one takes.

Be prepared to see some gore. It’s rated “R,” and it’s certainly not for the squeamish.

I know this is impossible, because these kinds of films never earn Oscar nominations. But darned if Vaughn doesn’t deserve one for his performance here. Watch while he walks like Millie, screams like Millie, and interacts just as Millie does with her pals. He’s hysterically funny and endearing.

The whole movie, in fact, is a real scream.

3 ½ out of 4 stars

Rated: R for foul language, sexual situations and gruesome deaths.

Running time: One hour and 41 minutes.

At Cinemark, Davenport, and the Blue Grass Drive-In.

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