I’m conflicted here, as I genuinely liked aspects of this film. But it’s so much a debacle? Boondoggle? Clusterf#$k? One of those three to be sure, if not all three. Freaks of Nature seems to just throw everything it can think of at the wall and see what sticks and what doesn’t. Very little sticks. The few highlights of the film for me that I loved were the character moments that showed a certain level of thought went into writing this film. Though I feel that what was intended didn’t come across or translate to the screen correctly.
Freaks of Nature takes place in the town of Dillford. Which is inhabited by humans, vampires and zombies. Dag Parker (Nicholas Braun) is a high school guy, with standard tv high school problems. Like being into the hot girl Lorelei (Vanessa Hudgens) whose your friend but don’t know how to express how he feels. Petra Lane (Mackenzie Davis) and her vampire boyfriend Milan (Ed Westwick) decided to go “all the way”. Unfortunately Petra and Milan misunderstand each other as Petra thinks he means sex when he means feeding on her. Resulting in Petra turning into a vampire after being bitten. Ned Mosely (Josh Fadem) is the uncool smart kid. His teachers work against him to crush he dreams of leaving this small town and his parents show blatant favoritism for his athletic older brother. With his future looking grim Ned lets himself be bitten by a zombie. As a means of escaping. As it happens all three go to the same high school. But as their high school dramas unfold aliens show up. This drives the tensions between the groups boil over as one group accuses for the aliens arrival. This leads up to a town wide melee, neighbor against neighbor. But as the aliens enter the fight until on Dag, Petra and Zombie Ned are left to stop them and save their town.
I liked the subtext of the vampire and zombie story lines. The vampire substituting for STIs and the zombie stepping in for depression and the sense of hopelessness. Both approach these subtly. Well not so much with the vampire one..
The acting isn’t so bad. Vanessa Hugens, Keegan-Michael Key, Ian Roberts and Mackenzie Davis are amazing fun to watch and do a great job. Bob Odenkirk and Joan Cusack delightful together. However Nicholas Braun is the films main characters and I am not a Nicholas Braun fan. With each film of his I watch, the less of him I want to see. That said he’s the one with an acting career, so he has to be doing something right.
My main issue is that this film tries to do way to much. With the zombie, the vampire and aliens on top of a high school drama(s). It all becomes a bit to much, resulting in everything fighting for your attention. Causing just about everything to come out feeling bland.
Final thoughts. I loved the numerous horror tropes that was worked in. That’s basically all this film is, horror and high school drama tropes are slammed together. But since the film isn’t taking its self seriously, I find it hard to be to critical of it. Freaks of Nature as parts that are worth looking into on a deeper level, while at the same time can be enjoyed as just a silly film. But for my personal views on the end product, I would have to say 4/10.