Fantasia 2019: Freaks [Review]

Have you ever seen a movie that is absolutely phenomenal, yet it’s best for moviegoers to not know too much about the premise before seeing it? Freaks is one of those rare examples. After having its Quebec premiere at the Fantasia International Film Festival, it is a thrilling, emotional and well-executed cinematic experience that genre fans will most certainly be invested in from the start. Written and directed by Adam Stein and Zach Lipovsky, there’s just something unique and impactful about their style of filmmaking that makes Freaks one of the most ambitious and creative films out there!

Without spoiling anything, the story revolves around a little girl named Chloe (Lexy Kolker) who is forbidden to go outside by her paranoid father (Emile Hirsch). He strongly believes that there is something dangerous going on in the outside world, but she’s curious to know what’s out there. One day, she sees a mysterious ice cream truck parked right in front of their house, and she decides to finally go out. The journey she goes through will forever change her and her father’s life, and that’s the simplified premise of Freaks without revealing too much of the entire movie. 

Without a doubt, Lexy Kolker’s performance is easily one of the best parts of the film. Her curiosity of the outside world adds a lot of depth to the premise, which also gives her a lot of character development. Her relationship with her father is quite touching, and you can’t help but feel lots of emotions when you see them together on screen. While her dad does make some weird decisions at times, you still understand the struggle he’s going through. The directors make sure these characters are fully developed as the film goes on, and that’s something they show really well with their script.

The moment you start watching Freaks, you already begin to ask yourself where the movie is going. It does start off a little slow as it’s trying to set up the world these people are living in. During the beginning, you ask yourself lots of questions, and that’s actually a good thing. After that, it becomes a genre-bending flick that grabs your attention. It’s also visually mesmerizing, which adds a lot to the storytelling aspect of the film. It’s rather commendable that the filmmakers decided to take their time in order to properly tell this unique story about self-discovery and family. More importantly, the last act is just indescribably fulfilling; it’s so epic that it leaves you emotionally satisfied. 

Freaks is simply amazing. It successfully combines elements from many different genres into one feature, which is quite impressive. You can just feel the passion that both Stein and Lipovsky have as filmmakers when you’re seeing their vision come to life on the big screen. Make sure you avoid reading too much about the film before seeing it, as it will probably be a much better and fulfilling experience that way. After watching it for the first time, it’s worth seeing again and again!

Freaks screened as part of this year’s Fantasia International Film Festival.

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About Steven Lee

Ever since he was a kid, Steven has always been passionate about movies. As a fan of Marvel, Star Wars and other geeky franchises, he will always bring you fun and nerdy articles that might pique your interest! More Posts