Listen, I will watch any movie where characters have superpowers. Like literally any movie or show or commercial or bus ad. I grew up on them.
So what a joy it is for me to see this ever-expanding genre start to look inward. The sobering, stark and surreal ‘Freaks’ is a movie about big issues and big powers, about trying to protect family at all costs in a world bent on tearing you apart.
Sure, characters can disappear, fly, control minds, but what this really feels like is a family-drama. It’s small, set mostly in one home. It’s packed with intimate performances and spools out slowly, with big reveals up until the final scene.
Directors Zach Lipovsky and Adam B. Stein keep things frenetic by taking a sort of fun house mirror approach to certain scenes. Bruce Dern (Mr. Snowcone) thrives in these dark, comic environments, a perfect complement to the determined and fiercely talented Lexi Kolker (Chloe), a young actor with a brilliant future.
Emile Hirsch is similarly engrossing, turning in a maudlin and frankly scary performance as Chloe’s too-protective father. I think he sweats the entire film.
While most superhero flicks pack in pomp with unclear circumstance, ‘Freaks’ stands out by letting the characters do the heavy lifting, their resolve the real superpower.
The film hits theaters this Friday.