Hilarious hybrid horror

It was a Hollywood inevitability, really, a no-brainer: combining the conceits of 1976’s Freaky Friday (and its 2003 remake) and the seminal slasher movie franchise Friday the 13th (starting in 1980 with regular sequels up to 2009).

The former, if you don’t know, involved the mystical body-swapping of a teenage girl and her mother. The latter involved a deranged maniac cutting up sex-having, pot-smoking and generally misbehaving teenagers into little bits.

I am both surprised this match made in hell wasn’t done sooner and gratified that the Hollywood multiplex machine waited until the team of director/co-writer Christopher Landon and actors Vince Vaughn and Kathryn Newton came along.

It’s an absolute blast watching the six-and-a-half-foot Vaughn’s go-for-broke performance channeling the mindset and gestures of a shy, petit teenage girl. And Newton matches him scene for scene, nailing her required flips as a savage killer realizing that s/he has found the perfect disguise.

Absurd yet creative, this one realizes it’s a farce and, despite its genesis, feels original. It’s got heart (and a mess of other vital organs, though the carnage is candy-coated). No Oscars in this little flick’s future, but it’s a bloody good time at the movies. (102 min)

Japan release date April 9, 2021

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