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Friday, January 6, 2012

Day 6: Freakshow

More like Shitshow

Freakshow starts with a gang of thieves who plot to rob the leader of circus they work for. What a circus it is! There's freaks, geeks, amputees and he-shes.The female thief, Lucy, seduces the leader and cons him into getting married. The circus freaks overhear their scheme and coerce Lucy into admitting her prejudice towards freaks. Two of the thieves steal some food and are caught by a little freak girl. They need to keep her quite and, in a stroke of pure absurdity, one of the thieves stabs the girl who lets out an ear-piercing shriek. They kill the girl, but for some strange reason, stay at the circus. The freaks vow their revenge and kill the thieves.

Oh boy. Where to start? I guess I should start with the good because I can finish this part quickly. There is great old-timey music throughout the movie. It really gives the movie a Depression-era feel and mixes well with the dusty scenery. There are some funny lines, but I'm not sure how many are intentionally funny. The acting is just OK, but nothing awful.

Freakshow is a “modern retelling”of the classic 1932 “Freaks” so that explains the constant feeling of deja vu. There's the beauty who wants to marry the circus leader for his money, the downpour during the freaks' revenge, and even the sock-like creature. Hell, there's even a spooky chant by the freaks, but instead of “One of us, one of us! Gooble gobble, gooble gobble!” its just “Welcome!” Why not just call it a remake and follow the movie?

You might want to get those checked out

Also, I don't seem to recall Freaks have so much nudity. Nothing X-Rated, but enough to qualify for a late-night Cinemax movie. Nudity in horror movies is fine. It can be used to show that a character is at their most vulnerable. In Freakshow, its used just to show some titties. While I do feel silly to complain about seeing some naked bits, it feels really unnecessary. Also, if you're going to have nudity in a movie called "Freakshow" at least have some fun with it and have freakshow nudity. I'll bet the woman from Total Recall with 3 breasts needs work. Give her a call.

The end feels very rushed. Most of the movie is spent talking and planning. By the time the last 25 minutes roll around, you can almost hear the director yell, “Oh shit! The movie is almost over! Quick, hurry up so we can get to good stuff!” And let me tell you, the ending is ridiculous. I said when I started this blog that I had no interest in watching “torture movies”. That plan got shot to hell thanks to Freakshow. The final 10 minutes are devoted to a graphic torture scene that I honestly skipped. Great job on the makeup and effects, but I really have no desire to see any of that. Maybe it was just a literal interpretation of what the movie has done to the viewer.

 Don't worry. No one will see this terrible movie.

I appreciate the desire to remake a classic scary movie that many people have probably never seen, but what's the point if you ignore everything that made the original great? Good makeup, quality effects, and some legitimate “freaks” save the movie from being a complete bust, but not by much. The prolonged, gruesome torture scene is over the top and not enjoyable. We are supposed to feel sorry for the freaks, but this makes them into the monsters Lucy said they were. I have seen movies that were far worse, but for different reasons. Avoid Freakshow at all cost.


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