Universal sets UK release for 'Freaky' on Boxing Day

Universal has confirmed it now plans to release Freaky into UK cinemas on 26 December, Boxing Day.

The inventive Blumhouse body-swap horror, starring Vince Vaughn and Kathryn Newton, was due for a nationwide release on 13 November before the second lockdown stabbed a knife into that plan.

The film was dropped from UK release schedules as cinemas closed across England for a month, but now a new date has been set.

Vince Vaughn is at the centre of body swap horror 'Freaky'. (Credit: Brian Douglas/Universal)
Vince Vaughn is at the centre of body swap horror 'Freaky'. (Credit: Brian Douglas/Universal)

The new comedy-horror has a snappy, silly central premise — what if a serial killer swapped bodies with one of his victims?

Directed by Happy Death Day filmmaker Christopher Landon, the film debuted depicts the murder of high-schooler Millie (Kathryn Newton of Blockers fame) by Vaughn’s Blissfield Butcher with an ancient knife.

Read more: Jamie Lee Curtis to make directorial debut for Blumhouse

The knife causes both to survive, but in each other’s bodies, with Millie trying to stop the Butcher before he uses her body to commit more crimes.

There’s also the small matter of the fact that she needs to work out a way to switch the bodies back within 24 hours, or the change will become permanent.

It’s exactly the sort of devilish, high-concept horror that has become the bread and butter of Blumhouse in the last few years.

The trailer teases plenty of the big, broad comedy you’d expect from a body swap premise, but this is Blumhouse and so there’s an ample supply of gore almost certainly going along with that.

Read more: Landon says he’s not writing Paranormal Activity 7

Landon has form for mixing comedy and horror, having combined genres to great effect in both Happy Death Day and its sequel Happy Death Day 2U.

Both of those films were box office successes, earning $190m (£148m) globally between them from a combined budget just shy of $15m (£12m).

Kathryn Newton in 'Freaky'. (Credit: Universal)
Kathryn Newton in 'Freaky'. (Credit: Universal)

Blumhouse has managed to release five movies already this year, despite coronavirus difficulties, with Leigh Whannell’s take on The Invisible Man potentially revitalising the Universal Monsters properties.

New versions of Dracula and The Wolfman have already begun to move forward as a result, with Whannell returning for the latter and Karyn Kusama taking on the former.

Read more: Eight new Blumhouse horrors heading to Amazon

Freaky has already been released in US where it topped the box office.