(director/writer: Christopher Landon; screenwriter: Michael Kennedy; cinematographer: Laurie Rose; editor: Ben Baudhuin; music: Bear McCreary; cast: Vince Vaughn (The Butcher), Kathryn Newton (Millie), Celeste O’Connor (Nyla), Emily Holder (Sandra), Misha Osherovich (Josh Detmer), Katie Finneran (Coral Kessler), Uriah Shelton (Booker Strode), Dana Drori (Charlene Kessler), Melissa Collazo (Ryler), Alan Ruck (Shop Teacher); Runtime: 102; MPAA Rating: R; producer: Jason Blum; Universal Pictures; 2020)
“You could say the film might work for some as mindless entertainment that’s good for a few chuckles and laughs.”
Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz
A low-budget high-concept but thinly plotted supernatural slasher body double comedy directed by Christopher Landon (“Happy Death Day”), the son of Michael, and written with formulaic spunk by Michael Kennedy. It gets its title from the movie Freaky Friday, whose themes it borrows.
It tells of the Blissfield Butcher (Vince Vaughn), a serial killer who terrorizes a small town’s high school students every year on its homecoming weekend. In the prologue four students are led to believe The Butcher is not an ‘Urban Legend’ but someone who is real, as the teens drink beer and make out in the mansion of one of their parents before the Butcher strikes for real and brutally slashes them up in a variety of creative ways.
We then follow the life of the pitiful high school student, the ugly and socially awkward Millie (Kathryn Newton), who recently lost her father and her mother (Katie Finneran) as a result became a heavy drinker. Millie also has an older cop sister (Dana Drori).
Millie wears a beaver costume as the school’s bullied mascot at the football games, and is perceived as a lonely coed hopelessly pining for the hunky jock Booker (Uriah Shelton) where they’re seniors at Blissfield Valley High.
Millie’s attacked by the Butcher with his newly gotten Aztec dagger (used in ancient Mayan sacrifice rituals) when mom fails to pick her up at the school. The knife used was taken in the slaughter of the four teens in the mansion of one of their parent, During the attack, somehow they exchange bodies and he takes on her girlish body while she takes on his imposing one.
Millie wants help from her best friends Nyla (Celeste O’Connor) and Josh (Misha Osherovich), but has a tough time trying to convince them this isn’t a B.S. story. In 24 hours, on Friday the 13th., the switch becomes permanent (Don’t ask how and why!) if not straightened out before then.
The Butcher in Millie’s body is unrecognized when he attacks the shop teacher (Alan Ruck) looking like Millie.
You could say the film might work for some as mindless entertainment that’s good for a few chuckles and laughs.
REVIEWED ON 11/27/2020 GRADE: C +