Freaky writer Michael Kennedy comes out in defense of streaming platforms and expresses his happiness that new films are available to watch safely. The horror-comedy pairs Kennedy with Happy Death Day writer/director Christopher Landon for another genre twist on a classic formula, this time taking aim at Freaky Friday as a reserved teenage girl unintentionally switches bodies with a serial killer and must stop them before it’s too late to switch back. The film stars Kathryn Newton and Vince Vaughn as the body switchers alongside Katie Finneran, Celeste O’Connor, Misha Osherovich, Alan Ruck and Uriah Shelton.
Holding its world premiere at the 2020 Beyond Fest, Freaky received largely positive reviews from critics and audiences alike for its horror-comedy twist on the body-swap formula. Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the film saw a smaller theatrical release in the U.S. but still became a financial success, grossing over $16 million against its $6 million budget. Freaky would hit video-on-demand and digital platforms just three weeks later and find further success, becoming the top-rented film on FandangoNow, the fourth on Google Play and the sixth on Apple TV in its opening weekend.
On the heels of Wonder Woman‘s Patty Jenkins speaking out against direct-to-streaming movies, Freaky writer Kennedy has taken to Twitter to share his thoughts on the streaming boom. Though he notes he would have liked to see the horror-comedy receive a wide theatrical release, he expressed his happiness that audiences got to watch the film safely from their homes with its VOD release a month after it hit theaters and for its current home of HBO Max. See what Kennedy said below:
Though Kennedy doesn’t specifically point towards Jenkins’ comments as his inspiration for posting his thoughts, the timing does line up with a response to the Wonder Woman director’s viral critiques of streaming films looking “like fake movies.” As with many other filmmakers, it’s understandable that Kennedy would have liked to see his film receive a similar release to Landon’s Happy Death Day movies, not just for financial purposes but also for the largest range of audiences to get the opportunity to see it. However, unlike many filmmakers who have expressed their distaste for the day-and-date streaming model and boom of the platforms, it proves rather refreshing to see Kennedy express his gratitude for the services.
Much like the time before streaming and digital platforms were viewers’ go-to options for catching new films, many films found new or larger life on DVD and VHS than they did in theaters and helped further launch franchises to popularity or cement the possibility of follow-ups getting made. Though Landon may be more focused on getting Happy Death Day 3 off the ground than a sequel to Freaky, Kennedy’s notes of the film finding new life on HBO Max is what many filmmakers should be celebrating during recent Delta variant spikes rather than continue to rebel against, especially as films such as The Suicide Squad and Vacation Friends become hits for their respective platforms to warrant studio interest in follow-ups. For those who haven’t caught the bloody body-swapping comedy, Freaky is now streaming on HBO Max.
Source: Michael Kennedy/Twitter