Is it possible? Can it be true? Is this another horror-comedy? The answer is yes. This time they decided to mix things up by combining zombies, vampires, and aliens. Yes, freaking aliens. And although this sounds like a recipe for disaster, Freaks of Nature is actually an entertaining and funny movie. Perhaps a bit too hipstery oriented, but what can you do. The story is zany (and most of the time incoherent) and the special effects are awesome. There’s a lot of blood and dismemberment, which is always a nice thing to see in these movies. With likable and well-developed characters, Freaks of Nature is a decent horror-comedy. My main objection is that feels a bit shallow, although this is something we should expect from this type of movie. Luckily, they were fully aware of the over-the-top premise and story, so the movie didn’t take itself too seriously. They were clearly aiming for entertainment and entertainment we got.
Welcome to Dillford, a small town where the impossible has happened: Zombies, Vampires, and Humans all live in harmony. A fragile harmony, but harmony nonetheless. If you were feeling that there was something missing in Dillford, you were right and that thing was Aliens! Now, with these changed circumstances an all-out war breaks out and three teenagers must try to save their lives and their lovely city…
This shallowness shows its ugly face several times during the movie, usually in the form of a self-initiated circle-jerk (you know what I mean) leading to some preachy conclusions. There are also a fair number of jokes that just fall flat. A humbler approach could have made this movie a cult classic since this is the thing that they were aiming for. Especially when you see the supporting cast: Patton Oswalt, Bob Odenkirk, Denis Leary, Keegan-Michael Key, and Werner Herzog. I liked the combination of normalizing all kinds of freaks with the standard-issue high-school setting.
I mean how many times have we seen movies where a bunch of high-school kids must band together despite their differences in order to save their school/town/planet? I would cite one of my favorite movies from the nineties, The Faculty, as a perfect example. Anyways, this enables Freaks of Nature to make so many strange situations and jokes, like dating between zombies and vampires and other fun shenanigans. With great pacing, you will not have time to wonder what’s actually going on, or are there plot holes and things that could have been done better. Ultimately, the message is whether we be zombies, vampires, aliens, or just plain old regular humans, we will always find something to bitch about, argue and finally, love.
Director: Robbie Pickering
Writer: Oren Uziel
Cast: Nicholas Braun, Mackenzie Davis, Josh Fadem, Denis Leary, Ed Westwick, Joan Cusack
Fun Facts: The screenplay for this film was featured in the 2010 Blacklist; a list of the “most liked” unmade scripts of the year.