Explain Why the Movie Freaks is Freaking Awesome
Explain Why the Movie Freaks is Freaking Awesome. Freaks is a low budget superhero concept that is confusing from the start, but definitely rearranges your expectations along the way.
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Today is a big day on the site. (Breathing into a bag.) I started noticing something meh in my Google Analytics reports – and I think THiNC. needs to change the content layout some in order to make you guys happier, which, in turn (I hope) will result in better SEO love…which then in turn results in more friends to talk movies with. So – I am proposing to drop the movie walkthrough entirely. Instead I’ll jump straight to the explanation/discussion section of the post. If you guys aren’t digging it – please let me know in the comments. But right now? I’m about to Explain Why the Movie Freaks is Freaking Awesome.

So yeah – I highly recommend this movie. So much so, I’m not going to tell you anything about it. Even better, I’m going to recommend you don’t watch this trailer below if you haven’t seen it. Just go find a copy and watch it.

Spoilers Abound From Here On Out

I’m serious about ditching the movie walkthrough. We are just going to dive into the movie itself and start slinging spoilers at a prodigious rate, and if you aren’t careful, you might ruin this fantastic movie for yourself…

As the movie starts, we, the viewer, have no idea what is going on. Dad seems sketch. The Icecream Man seems like a letch. And the daughter may just be demon possessed. It’s one of the really great aspects to this movie that we really struggle to understand what is going on from the start. But after Chloe (played by Lexy Kolker) takes an extended leave with her Grandfather – Mr. Icecream – her father (played by Emile Hirsch, who was awesome in The Autopsy of Jane Doe, as well as in Once Upon A Time in Hollywood) explains that he has placed her in a time bubble in order to protect her from the authorities.

Explaining Why the Movie Freaks is Freaking Awesome - the low budget, high concept film, attempts to handle super heroes in all the right ways. First by making us care.

Freaks Movie Time Bubble

“Wait! Explain that bit some more please! A Time Bubble?” Yeah, he basically has squatted in a dilapidated house, and has forced time to freeze in the world. And all the while Chloe continues to grow. But the bubble isn’t perfect, because Dad is only able to maintain the bubble while he sleeps. (Movie logic flaw #1 – if you do a little math on this, you realize that Dad is averaging 17 minutes of sleep each night. Think about it. The neighbor states that it’s only been a month since he asked them to take care of Chloe. And while it was a month for them, it was seven years for him and Chloe. 25000 days in seven years. 720 hours in a month. Voila, 17 minutes a night. But I’m picking at this point.) But the fraying of the time bubble also explains why Chloe is able to see things going on around her. The slumber party of the girls next door. Her mother as she is being tortured and experimented. Which brings up another point that might be a little confusing…

Abnormals/Freaks Are a Hunted Class

The movie Freaks does not tell us how Abnormals are first created. We just have to take it as a fact. At first the Abnormals are not a threat, but when a few “accidents” happened three years before Chloe was born (like the complete annihilation of Dallas) they all become a hunted class. And, as an attempt to bring them all in, an offer of amnesty is given to all Abnormals. In taking the deal though, they would have to move to the Mountain where they would be quarantined. (Read murdered/neutralized.)

Which is what happened to Chloe’s mother (played by Amanda Crew) Mary. She and her father were rounded up, and her father was able to get away, but Mary wasn’t. The Icecream Man then continues visiting Chloe, but didn’t tell Chloe’s father that Mary was still alive. So when Chloe starts to see visions of her mother, it blows her father’s mind, solely because he is under the firm assumption that Mary is dead.

The Ending of Freaks Explained

OK. So you get the idea that Chloe is an Abnormal. An extra-special-Abnormal. You get the idea that she got her powers from her father (who could stop time) and from her mother (who could fly). And we know that she can see across distances, and interact with others through this teleportal type vision. You also get the idea that her father is hiding his daughter, afraid for his life, because (he believes anyway) that his wife had been killed by the government when she and Chloe’s grandfather were rounded up. You get all that. Right? Perfect.

As the movie heads down the homestretch, Chloe realizes that not only is her mother alive, but her time is soon to be short for this world. The men that have her locked up are about to kill her. We don’t know how, or why. Things get complicated when Chloe’s father tries to pass Chloe off to their neighbors to protect her. He was going to give them piles of cash each month (which he almost certainly got through stock market and lottery manipulations. I mean, he is from the future after all), in return for their keeping her safe. But when Chloe manipulates the mother to get her to say that she loves Chloe it totally (and understandably) wigs her out. They call the police, and Agent Ray comes in. At first she is seen as a sympathetic character – we learn she’s hellbent on the rounding up of all freaks. But Chloe, after her father and grandfather are both shot, manages to get Agent Ray to “kill herself.” And from there, Chloe is able to help her mother get outdoors, by controlling a security guard at the facility, which allows her mother to fly away. The hellfire kills her father, who dies protecting his daughter. And Mary and Chloe decide they are going to leave, and live a normal life without fear of anyone judging them for being different.

Final Thoughts on Freaks

This movie was delicious. Beginning to end. It started with confusion. And then it increased the confusion to an eleven. Then things started resolving, and the picture became more and more clear. Going into the film, I didn’t even realize it was a superhero movie. I had no idea what I was walking into. But afterwards I was so impressed with what we’d been given. Not because the special effects were any good (they were on par with Flash Gordon maybe?) but because the writing and the intrigue was so interesting. Was it a perfect movie? NO! This thing is basically a pitch movie for a movie! hahaha. But I loved everything about it. If you are going to give humans superpowers, then make them desperate. Make the hole that they are in all that much deeper.

Here we have a story about a father protecting his daughter. Better yet, the situation must be really grim because they have hunkered down and are doing drills and learning their new identities inside and out. The chips are down. The entirety of society is against them. And they have nowhere to go but to hide inside time. It’s a great idea. Wonderful little film. And they did so much with so very little. (I would really like to know how much they spent on making this film. Can’t be much. And YET, it all worked.) But those are my thoughts…did the powers mechanics work? Did the movie work? What did you think of it?

Edited by: CY

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7 Responses

  1. Lisa

    Oh no, I will miss the walkthroughs! I admittedly know nothing about Google analytics and I’m on this site so much that every time I type T in my browser it thinks I want to come here but I think some complicated films may need a walkthrough. I personally like them in case there is something I missed. It’s especially true for this final season of Mr. Robot (don’t know if you watch this but you should) because the show is so full of minute details that turn out to be important later and I often miss one or 2 so I always read the recap. I feel like something is missing now because of the lack of walkthrough or timeline. And I like words. Lots of them as you know by my verbosity on here. Anyway, I’m so glad to see this film here. I just posted another comment saying you should talk about it but you already did! I had no idea where this film was going in the beginning and thought dad was some kind of delusional abuser and the ice cream man definitely a bad guy because I had read nothing about the film before watching it. I was just drawn in by the title. This is a superhero movie with characters who don’t quite realize they are superheroes which is why I loved it so much and am willing to look past some details which don’t quite add up like the time bubble thing. The story was fresh especially in a time where we have more superhero movies than we could ever possibly need. Most of all it was about love and who doesn’t love some love?

    Reply
  2. deKev

    The movie works for me too, same as you, went in blind, had no idea that it would turn out to be superhero movie, a poor man’s X-Men at that too, which is all the better for it. First off, I’m a superhero movie fanatic, so (almost) no superhero movies are so bad to be beneath my contempt. However, lately, post Endgame definitely, possibly due to superhero fatigue, I’m beginning to dread watching the next big franchise installment from either Marvel or DC. So non-mainstream superhero movies like Brightburn and Code 8 are a welcome breath of fresh air for me.

    What I like best about Freaks is the almost zero exposition during the entire film, what exposition there is is revealed in an organic way and only when necessary. Gone are the usual title sequences of newsreels after newsreels to set the scene (looking at you, Code 8, tsk tsk). What this movie loses out on clarity of its world-building, it more than makes up for in suspense and intrigue, especially in the opening acts.

    OTOH, one low point for me would be near the end when Agent Ray showed up uninvited at our heroes’ house. I was hoping maybe Agent Ray would have had some tricks up her sleeve, like maybe she’s a legalized Abnormal working for the government, something other than the threat of a drone attack that takes time and would eliminate herself as well. As it is, it just does not make sense that her gambit would work against a house full of Abnormals, including an undocumented Third Generation one (I remember it was mentioned the super human ability enhances with each subsequent generation).

    Oh, I’m pretty sure Henry’s ability to create and maintain a time bubble works only when he is wide awake, not when he is asleep! Also, the piles of cash in their safe? Easy, freeze time at a bank, and just take what he wants at his leisure.

    Finally, this movie reminds me a lot of another movie with a little girl at the centre of its mystery, Stephanie (2017). I recall having the same sort of feelings of “the plot could go any number of ways” running through my head before the reveals.
    https://www.imdb.com/title/tt3829378/

    Reply
  3. Lisa

    I loved Stephanie as well! If it’s not talked about somewhere on this site it definitely should be. I also enjoyed the way the details were presented to us in this film without showing us too much information at the start. It made it all the more enjoyable to watch to have no idea what it was really about.

    Reply
  4. Cassie

    The dad asked the neighbors to take care of Chloe a month ago but he has been freezing time for a few months. The mom says and so does the grandpa. So I would think he sleeps a few hours every night. But then again, time is frozen and this is a movie.

    Reply
  5. Benny

    Maybe don’t try to write an article trying to explain a movie you clearly didn’t understand. While everyone is entitled to their opinions, facts are not subject to individual interpretation. Your facts are wildly wrong.

    The father doesn’t travel through time. He creates a time dilation bubble where time inside of his bubble moves faster than time outside.

    The grandfather is Mr. Snowcone not Mr. Icecream.

    The grandfather and mother were not “rounded up.” They attempted to destroy the Mountain and free the other Abnormals imprisoned there. Something went wrong and the mother was presumed killed. The father blamed the grandfather for his wife’s death and went into hiding for months (aka 7 years relative time).

    It doesn’t blow her father’s mind that she sees visions, he doesn’t believe it because he doesn’t know about his daughter’s powers.

    Grandpa doesn’t tell the father about Mary being alive because he thinks the father will once again refuse to fight, and he needs the girl to break in… a feat he has repeatedly failed to do on his own despite his invisibility powers.

    Superhuman abilities does NOT make a movie a superhero movie. To be a superhero movie you have to be a SUPER HERO. This is no different than Stephen King’s Fire Starter and owes far more to it than X-Men. This is rightly labeled as a supernatural thriller.

    Your assessment on the level of special effects shows you have no idea on the technical craft required and demonstrated aptly by the team that did an incredible job on the movie. You should refrain from such ignorant statements if you lack the experience to make a judgment call like that.

    No I am not connected to the film in any way, but I do know whereof I speak as a veteran comic book writer, artist and with a few producing credits under my belt.

    Reply
  6. Vector

    Except the father can only keep the bubble going while he is AWAKE. That’s why he is always trying to stay awake.

    Reply

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