Childhood has not been a time of wonder, discovery, love and innocence for seven-year-old Chloe (played by Lexy Kolker). She has been locked up inside her house by her paranoid father (played by Emile Hirsch) because he wants to keep her safe from the dangers posed by Abnormals. As such, Chloe lives in fear of the outside world instead of being eager to explore it and learn from it like most other children.
Life changes for Chloe when a mysterious stranger comes into her life. This person offers her the opportunity to see what the outside world is like. That it is often wonderful. Chloe learns this but also finds out that there is indeed danger.
Defying the desire to slot films into a genre, Freaks is a mish mash of several including sci fi, psychological thriller and family drama. Co-directors and screenwriters Zach Lipovsky and Adam B. Stein helm this rather wacky story. The atmoshpere is rather tight or claustraphobic and with the addition of some mutant or otherworldly elements there is some tension to be found here. You spend plenty of time wondering if what you just saw was real or a product of a twisted mind.
Most of the viability of the film rests upon the small and young shoulders of Lexy Kolker. She takes the task on like a veteran ably portraying a character who is pulled in all directions especially by her family members. When it comes to Emile Hirsch I have to admit I was distracted by how much he looked and acted like Jack Black here. Bruce Dern manages to add one more interesting character to his CV.
The best part of the film is how it allows the viewer figure out what they have seen. Things are not explained for us. Each of us can have a different interpretation of the bread crumbs left along a winding path.
- Audio commentary by directors Zach Lipovsky and Adam Stein
- Behind the Scenes
- Original trailer