Filmmaker Christopher Landon, who is behind such horror standouts as Paranormal Activity and Happy Death Day, is back with his new horror-comedy Freaky. The movie features Vince Vaughn as a serial killer, and Kathryn Newton as high school student Millie. In an interview, Newton explained how she was able to convincingly go from playing a dorky high school girl to a decades-older serial killer after her and Vaughn’s characters switch bodies.
“We talked about the center of gravity of each character, their posture and the physicality, because they’re so different. Millie, she’s more like me. I was totally like Millie – a dork in high school who didn’t fit in, and I appreciated that she just wanted to disappear. That’s easier sometimes than telling people who you are or trying to show who you are. The Butcher was so grounded, dark and mysterious, and he came from his chest. He was much stronger and more confident than Millie. So the way he walks is just different, and the head tilt comes with the territory of a horror film.”
Kathryn Newton is no stranger to the horror genre. She had previously teamed up with Landon for 2012’s Paranormal Activity 4 in the lead role. According to the actress, her past experience with Landon helped her find the right approach to playing Freaky‘s serial killer, known as the Blissfield Butcher.
“I learned a lot on Paranormal Activity with Chris Landon; he wrote Paranormal Activity. I learned a lot about telling a story just with your eyes, because in horror, you don’t have to do much. The audience knows where you’re going. They know that you’re about to die or they know you’re going to kill someone, so it’s all very subtle. And the Butcher carried himself in a much more specific, mysterious way. You didn’t really know what he was going to do, so you had to keep everything really simple.”
The early reviews for Freaky have been positive, with critics praising Vaughn and Newton for helping sell the notion of a body swap with their acting in the film. In a previous interview, Vaughn had explained that Freaky was able to convince audiences of the film’s central conceit due to the smaller, emotional moments that the two main characters get to have.
“What I loved the most was that there’s an emotional believability that goes throughout [the movie]… I think part of what helps us buy the body swap — and obviously Kathryn’s performance tremendously so as Millie — is that I think we emotionally buy those feelings and connections. And that’s part of the magic trick of buying the situation. It’s the ability for all of us, like I said, to connect to those very vulnerable moments.”
Featuring Vince Vaughn, Kathryn Newton, Celeste O’Connor, Misha Osherovich, Katie Finneran, Uriah Shelton, Dana Drori, and Alan Ruck, Freaky opens Friday, November 13 in theaters nationwide. This news comes from The Hollywood Reporter.