Zach’s Zany Movie Reviews: FREAKY

FREAKY is the exact kind of movie that I needed to come out in a movie theater right now, pandemic and all. Not just me, but probably one that all horror fans also needed. And some comedy fans as well. Freaky is a scary, blood and guts bonanza of a good time with some big, big laughs that mixes horror and comedy quite masterfully. Some critics are calling writer/director Christopher Landon a future master of the horror genre, eventually joining the likes/ranks of Wes Craven, James Wan, David Cronenberg, Tobe Hooper, John Carpenter, etc., but I’m going to disagree with that…to a degree, and put him in a whole different category of his own: he’s the new master of flipping the horror genre on its head. That title was previously held by Wes Craven when he defied expectations and went meta ‘before its time’ with New Nightmare in 1994 and then it was accepted more just two years later in 1996’s Scream. Unfortunately for Wes, those are really the only two movies where he did that successfully, as each Scream sequel failed to light a candle to the wit of the original, and then he had some regular horror clunkers in between like My Soul To Take and co-writing the sequel remake of The Hills Have Eyes 2. Christopher Landon has flipped the horror genre on its head successfully multiple times now and he keeps getting better. He started all the way back in 2007 with the Shia LaBeouf starring, new take on the ‘Rear Window’ movie, Disturbia. He then involved himself with the Paranormal Activity movies, which flipped the horror found footage genre on its head, and right after that he flipped the zombie horror genre on its head with Scouts Guide to The Zombie Apocalypse. More recently, he flipped the Groundhog Day ‘do-over’ genre on its head, giving it a fresh horror spin with Happy Death Day, and then flipped it yet again with the more sci-fi than horror sequel, Happy Death Day 2U. Now here comes Freaky, which flips the horror genre on its head yet again by mixing it with the done to death ‘body swap’ comedy genre, to masterful results.

IMDB describes Freaky with the following, “After swapping bodies with a deranged serial killer, a young girl in high school discovers she has less than 24 hours before the change becomes permanent.” The only question I asked myself after seeing a trailer to this movie, and the question you probably also asked yourself was: how is it no one thought of this sooner? Seriously, I’m very surprised someone didn’t attempt this about a decade ago, but here we are now, and this film is near perfect. After having seen the movie, I can’t imagine anybody else in the deranged serial killer role that suddenly inhabits the soul of a teenage girl other than Vince Vaughn. I called his comeback a few months ago when he had his best comedic performance since Wedding Crashers, in Hulu’s original film The Binge, and now Freaky just solidifies my claims. Forget The Binge, THIS IS NOW HIS BEST PERFORMANCE OVERALL since that 2005 masterpiece with Owen Wilson. When Vince Vaughn isn’t phoning it in, and when you can tell he wants to be in a project and is having the time of his life, that’s when movie magic happens. In Freaky, he lights up the screen, and he does so even before he inhabits the teenage girl’s spirit. Why hasn’t anybody made Vince Vaughn some kind of horror icon until now? This movie puts his tall height and frame to good use, making him look like a horrifying presence with the strength and determination of Jason or Michael Myers. I wonder if Vince Vaughn was Landon’s one and only choice for the role. It wouldn’t surprise me. If I had one complaint about this movie, there is a scene where you’ll really have to suspend some belief when Vince Vaughn and a teenage boy are flirting in a car. It’s a little cring-ey and not that believable, but the scene was written primary for laughs and a big “ewwww”, which it definitely got out of me, so that suspension was quickly forgiven.

And the movie isn’t all Vince Vaughn. The movie has a great earned jump scare of an opening scene. The movie also has snappy dialogue, some great gory and unique kills with tons and tons of blood, great editing, great directing by Landon, great consistent laughs, great supporting characters and performances (especially the teenage girl’s gay guy friend and black girl friend, who flip their genre character tropes on their heads) and the movie even subverts expectations with not having the movie end how I expected it to. In fact, I would say this is one of the most satisfying horror movie endings I’ve seen in my lifetime. The movie also wouldn’t be what it is without the other half of the body swap duo, the teenage girl who is played by Kathryn Newton. When her body inhabits the soul of Vince Vaughn’s deranged serial killer, her acting gives us a master class in what to accomplish in a body swap movie of its type. Switching personalities within a film can be hard to do, but just like Nicholas Cage and John Travolta in Face/Off, Vince Vaughn and Kathryn Newton pull it off like it’s a walk in the park. I cannot wait to own this movie and watch it again and again, I was that thoroughly entertained and I bet you will be too. You don’t even have to be a fan of the horror genre to get something out of Freaky, as my wife, who HATES horror movies, liked this one quite a bit as well. Movies like Freaky were made for the theater, to share laughter or jump scare frights with strangers in a dark and quiet auditorium. It was nice to see that this movie had the most audience members in attendance since I saw Tenet for the first time back in September. Let’s get more stuff like this back into theaters, so that we can save the movie going experience, and not just be fat asses at home on our phones, not paying attention to the straight to PVOD drivel we have mostly gotten since April.

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Zach’s Zany Movie Reviews: TROLLS WORLD TOUR

“Patience is a virtue. Especially when it comes to $19.99 PVOD rentals.” – Zachary James Alexander

I know I had a couple of guest reviewers take a shot at their thoughts for TROLLS WORLD TOUR a couple of months ago when they foolishly paid $19.99 for a 48 hour rental. Want to guess how much I paid? $5. The kids Universal Dreamworks Animation film was available to rent regularly this week, and since my young little boy likes that kind of shit with a lot of music in it, five bucks seemed like a pretty good deal. And my verdict? It’s honestly not that bad, in fact, I would say it is a superior sequel, as I can’t even remember for the life of me what happened in the first movie, other than I knew I was bored to tears and didn’t care for it. So what made me think this one was decent? Well, it’s really just a harmless 90 minute music video meant for kids and teaches them that all races of people, no matter the skin color or personality, can and should live in harmony. Errr, wait a minute, I said that wrong. It teaches them that all of the different Trolls, with their different varieties and preferred kinds of music, can and should live in harmony. Ah, that’s better. The movie flies by in a fast and frantic pace and is really the movie that Frozen II should’ve been when trying to incorporate political and social messages into its themes. Frozen II went wayyyyyy too dark for children and its end message of “anti-Trump wall and racist values” was eye roll worthy. Argue with me all you want, I proved with instances in my Frozen II review that it was all there. Trolls World Tour is much more light-hearted and doesn’t get too dark even though it still kind of annoyingly wears its messages on its sleeve.

Per IMDB, it describes Trolls World Tour as: “When the Queen of the Hard Rock Trolls tries to take over all the Troll kingdoms, Queen Poppy and her friends try different ways to save all the Trolls.” To add on to that description, the Queen of The Hard Rock Trolls is actually trying to steal all of the Troll kingdoms musical strings (Pop, Funk, Classical, Techno and Country) and convert all of them to JUST hard rock. So basically Hard Rock is Nazi Germany in this instance. Oh, also, half way through the film they mention that the Troll World Map is “outdated” and that there are many more kinds of different trolls and music out there now. See what I mean when I say that it wears its messages on its sleeve? However, it’s harmless and tolerable because of how bright and chipper every story beat is to the very end, even on a 2 second downer note in the climax. It manages to still be a purely innocent kids movie, something that Frozen III should probably take notes on before the script and songs are written for that film in several years. There aren’t many original songs here, the film mostly consists of remixes of current and older songs that you might’ve enjoyed personally or with family and friends over the years. And the remixes are actually kind of cool and catchy. Anna Kendrick, Rachel Bloom, Justin Timberlake and others sing their hearts out in this, and it all sounds good and is enjoyable…to a degree for me.

I’m not saying the movie is great, it’s just half way decent. Probably because my expectations were quite low when hitting that play button. But my young son liked it and my wife and I paid attention to it. I got a little more out of it than I was expecting. Heck, I even laughed out loud a couple of times. Mostly scenes that involved Kenan Thompson, as a new troll named Tiny Diamond, whenever he would open his mouth and then a very dry humorish, 2 second, blind-and-you’ll-miss-it laugh involving a troll shaking its ass right in front of another troll’s face who is not amused (it happens in the country Troll scene if you are on the look out for it). There is also a side B, C & D plots that involve Timberlake’s troll actually being able to be in love with Kendrick’s troll (that’s what she said), a troll that lived in the Pop Music part of the world who realizes he’s actually from a different part of it, and a pinky promise that have tiny little pay offs that weren’t too shabby. I can’t stress this enough, it’s a harmless kids movie. It’s not as terrible as some of my friends and professional critics are making it out to be and it’s not the greatest movie ever that probably flew out of some kids mouths while in quarantine. It’s serviceable, it’s there, it easily kills 90 minutes of your boring quarantine life time. You will either jam to the beat of the music or, at the bare minimum, nod your head to it. It’s definitely not worth the $19.99 rental it was in April, but is sure more than a bargain at $5 now.

Zach’s Zany 2 Guests Movie Reviews: TROLLS WORLD TOUR (or How I Learned To Stop Worrying And Wait For A Cheap Rental)

Hey Zach here to start off this bitch before I post two GUEST reviews of TROLLS: WORLD TOUR, for which I was cheap enough not to pay for a 48 hr. $20 rental and wait till later this year when it’s like $3 to watch only once. See, I’m a fan of Disney, Sony, Warner Bros, etc for allowing those who missed their most recent movies in theaters to just buy them for $19.99 soon after this COVID-19 decided to fuck everyone in the asshole. But Universal, little pricks that they are, with their movies such as The Hunt, Emma, The Invisible Man, and now this Trolls sequel, said “fuck that fuck ’em, charge them $20 a pop and we will regular release them to buy for the exact same price just a little later.” I’m not going to play into their little game, so instead of a review from me, because well…I wasn’t really looking forward to this anyway, here’s two good guys that I know that paid the $20 and their two cents. My little dude, now 2 and a half, could not give two shits when my wive puts the first movie on, and my wife and I really don’t like the first one beyond the Justin Timberlake song, and based on the previews, looks like it would be the exact same scenario in the end. So without further ado, here are two GUEST reviews (one sort of favorable, one definitely not) of the new Trolls movie, something that should’ve been thought about and released back when they were still relevant in the 1990s:

TROLLS: WORLD TOUR – Guest Review #1 by Don Hernandez

The first major theatrical release to release via On Demand on the same day but likely not the last in this topsy turvy world of COVID-19.
Let me first start off by saying if you enjoyed the first Trolls movie, you should enjoy this one. If you didn’t and you are over the age of 14 then well it really wasn’t made for you. It was made for the children. Most of the cast is back lending their voices (led by the always charming Anna Kendrick and Justin Timberlake).

This time around, Queen Poppy (Kendrick) and Branch (Timberlake) finds out there are other kinds of trolls out there that dance to a different beat. Which is great except one group of Trolls wants to stop the music forever unless it’s Hard Rock. Queen Barb (Rachel Bloom) is collecting the magic musical strings of each group of trolls to make all trolls part of her Rock N Roll army. Now Queen Poppy & Branch must seek out the other groups of trolls to stop Queen Barb. On their quest they’ll see that even though the music is different they all have a common bond.

This was a pretty decent sequel. I don’t think it is better than the original but it is serviceable and worth the watch if you enjoy kids movies. Kenan Thompson stole the show for me as a new character, Tiny Diamond.
Armed with a message of celebrating diversity and inclusion it stays light and doesn’t overpower you with that agenda to the point of eye rolling. The new songs “Other Side” and “Just Sing” are catchy and fit very well with the story. Probably my main issue with the movie is it seemed to move too quick on the “takeover” front. I’d have liked it a bit more drawn out than the brisk 90 mins allowed. Kids though won’t care, they’ll be dancing and singing most of the movie.

P.S. There is a small scene after the credits featuring The Bergens from first movie.

Trolls World Tour is available for rent for 48 hours on all major streaming sites for $19.99

Featuring the voice talents of
Anna Kendrick, Justin Timberlake,
Jame Corden, Rachel Bloom, Kunal Nayyar, Ron Funches, Kenan Thompson, Sam Rockwell, Kelly Clarkson, Mary J Blige, and Ozzy Osbourne.

TROLLS: WORLD TOUR Guest Review #2 by Dustin Bade

“Trolls, they wanna have fun……oh trolls, they wanna have fun….” Catchy? Yeah, I thought so too. *Newsflash* so do parents and kids. And while I thought it would be fun to pay $19.99 plus taxes and whatever fees, to watch the second installment of Trolls, boy was I ever wrong. To be fair, the kids watched all 90 minutes of it in their chairs. Michelle drew photos on her phone and I sat on the couch trying to watch but something kept happening to me. So my review of the movie goes like this:
An opening scene of Poppy, happy and singing a catchy song, morphs into an awkward scene in which Branch tries to tell her he likes her. Poppy learns that her tribe of pop trolls are not the only trolls in existence, but trolls of all musical genres exist in their own habitat, with the evil rock and roll trolls, wanting to conquer all at a concert. I hear her tell Branch “road trip” and then “zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz” I wake up to hear some hick sounding trolls and what sounded like Kelly Clarkson singing a good albeit sad country song. Unless I was half dreaming, I swore she was on the heavier side and had 4 legs and big hair. I fall back asleep and wake up hearing J.Timberlake and Anna Kendrick singing a slow love song break up type song………..hear some other music in the background…….”zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz” and then I wake up to the last scene and ending credits when my daughter says “that song is pretty.”


Not all sequels are bad, and not all movies need to be sequels. The Dark Knight was a sequel and easily the best (ever) sequel and certainly of that Batman franchise. Wall-E is good, but we don’t need another. I enjoyed Oceans 11 back in the day, but none of the others. Same with Fast and the Furious movies….the list goes on. Trolls didn’t need a sequel. The first one was cute in my opinion and had some cute laughs, catchy music and of course, more scenes with the “cloud.” It should have ended there….but it didn’t…..I mean after all, trolls just wanna have fun!

I wrote this at the request of a movie reviewer friend of mine who said he will not watch the movie and rightfully so. If all goes well, maybe I will be a ghost writer for him. I always had a passion for writing and story telling…..this could be my opportunity….or not!