screen gems

Need a laugh? A scream? We’ve got the queer answer to both.

(from left) Josh Detmer (Misha Osherovich), Ryler (Melissa Collazo), The Butcher in Millie Kessler’s body (Kathryn Newton) and Nyla Chones (Celeste O’Connor) in Freaky, co-written and directed by Christopher Landon.

Welcome to Screen Gems, our weekend dive into queer and queer-adjacent titles of the past that deserve a watch or a re-watch.

The Giggle: Freaky

In honor of queer actor Misha Osherovich landing a new TV series this week, we flashback to last year where the nonbinary performer became an actual star.

Freaky, the Blumhouse horror-comedy from gay director Christopher Landon (Happy Death Day), stars Kathryn Newton as Millie Kessler, a pretty blond navigating high school alongside her besties Nyla (Celeste O’Connor) and the flamboyantly gay Josh (Osherovich). A serial killer (Vince Vaughn) settles on Millie as his next target…until he accidentally trips an ancient curse, and manages to swap bodies with her. Millie, now traped in the body of a middle-aged man, appeals to Nyla & Josh to help her reclaim her body before the spell becomes permanent. Meanwhile, the psycho killer masquerading as a young girl finds himself able to slip into the local high school, and select any number of young, nubile victims.

Freaky showcases the comic gifts of Vaughn and Newton, both of whom deliver credible, nuanced performances in their multiple roles. They also manage to snag some very big laughs along the way. Osherovich shines as well as the dumb, horny, gay best friend called into heroism, scoring a few laughs of their own. On a more subversive level, Freaky takes advantage of its gender-bending premise to explore teen gender stereotypes and the somewhat arbitrary privileges afforded to young women and middle-aged men. It’s a movie with genuine thrills, genuine laughter, and a few wry observations to boot. In other words: perfect entertainment for a queer audience in the lead-up to Halloween.

Streams on HBO Max, Hulu, Amazon, YouTube & VUDU.

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