Kept locked inside the house by her father, 7-year-old Chloe lives in fear and fascination of the outside world, where Abnormals create a constant threat – or so she believes. When a mysterious stranger offers her a glimpse of what’s really happening outside, Chloe soon finds that while the truth isn’t so simple, the danger is very real.
What We Thought:
Freaks was a nice little surprise. It’s a solid science fiction thriller that starts out one way and ends up totally different. At first you’re thinking the film is going to be something like Brigsby Bear, where a person is held against their will (unknowingly) and they are told they are being protected from bad people outside. Emile Hirsch tells his daughter not to go outside, that bad people want to hurt her. Of course she wants to be normal and go outside and get ice cream and have a mom like other kids.
Her father falls asleep and she goes out and meets an older man (Bruce Dern) at an ice cream truck and the whole story flips. It becomes like the TV show Heroes, where we find out there are people with abilities. There was an event that drove these people into hiding and it turns out Hirsch wasn’t crazy or hurting his daughter, he was genuinely protecting her. There are agents hunting the people with abilities and of course there’s a final showdown that was pretty cool.
The movie works because Lexy Kolker, the young actress playing the daughter, is very good. She reminded me of a young Drew Barrymore in Firestarter. She’s done some TV, but this is the first time I remember seeing her. She’s pretty great as Chloe especially opposite actors the like of Hirsch and Dern. As her character develops, Kolker handles it all extremely well and you forget you’re watching someone so young.
I quite liked Freaks. I had no idea what to expect from it and I hope it finds an audience on home video and streaming. I can see it doing well especially streaming through word of mouth. If you like sci-fi, give it a try.
Behind the Scenes
French Subtitles Available
Actors: Bruce Dern, Emile Hirsch, Grace Park, Amanda Crew, Lexy Kolker
Directors: Zach Lipovsky, Adam B. Stein