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Freaky: Every Slasher Icon Referenced (Including The Deleted Freddy Homage)

Here's every slasher icon referenced in Freaky. Vince Vaughn isn't the obvious choice to play either a serial killer or a teenage girl, but he got to play both at the same time in 2020's Freaky. Vaughn plays the ruthless Blissfield Butcher, who swaps bodies with a teenager named Millie (Kathryn Newton) after stabbing her with an ancient ceremonial dagger. The Butcher then uses Millie's body to carve a bloody path through town, while Millie - trapped in the Butcher's body - must find a way to switch back before the transfer becomes permanent.

Freaky may be a comedy at heart, but it didn't skimp on the R-rated bloodshed either. From the Scream-inspired opening through to the gory final, it earned its slasher badge. The movie was also powered by a great cast, including a very game Vaughn and Newton. A sequel has yet to be confirmed, while director Christopher Landon has teased a potential crossover with his other horror series Happy Death Day.

Related: How Freaky's Ending Subtly Sets Up A Sequel

Freaky has lots of horror easter eggs and pointed references to slasher movie icons. Here's every famous screen killer it pays homage to.

One of the most obvious nods is to Jason - not least because much of the movie is set during Friday the 13th. The opening sees the Butcher slaughter some teenagers with various creatives means, including a tennis racket and toilet seat. This sequence itself feels ripped right out of a Friday The 13th sequel, from the teens talking about the urban legend of the Butcher to the killer smashing through doors like paper. His mask also resembles a hockey mask.

Freaky's opening pays homage to more than one famous slasher with the moment the Butcher pins a victim to the wall. Just like Michael Myers in the original Halloween, the Butcher then takes a moment to admire his handwork and even does a little head tilt. There's also his use of butcher knives - which could be a nod to Vaughn's Norman Bates from 1998's Psycho too - and his stalking of Millie in the finale.

While this Freaky slasher easter egg is brief, it's unmistakable too. When Millie wakes up in the Butcher's body back at his lair, it's littered with all kinds of creepy mannequins and dead animals. There's also a mannequin head dotted with nails, which is a clear visual riff on Hellraiser's Pinhead.

Related: Every Cenobite In The Hellraiser Movies

Freaky director Landon is a fan of Carrie, which also gets a shoutout during the finale set at a homecoming dance. "Butcher" Millie is often bathed in red light during this scene, which sees her kill some would-be rapists. The red light is a reference to Carrie's finale, where the title character is covered in blood and goes on a rampage. Millie's red leather jacket - combined with getting blood splashed on her face - only adds to the effect.

A short but sweet Candyman reference. Another notable kill during the homecoming dance sees "Butcher" Millie burst her arm through a wall with a hook and stab a jock through the eye, before pulling him through the hole. She then poses with the bloody hook in a manner similiar to Tony Todd's slasher from 1992's Candyman. Her brief use of a chainsaw is likely a reference to Texas Chainsaw Massacre's Leatherface too.

While the title and body swap conceit is lifted from Freaky Friday, it also has shades of Child's Play. This saw serial killer Charles Lee Ray (Brad Dourif) transfer his soul into a doll dubbed Chucky when he was dying, though the transfer in Freaky is an accident. Chucky's goal is to switch back to a human body before the change is permanent, while poor Millie also has a limited timeframe to take her body back.

Related: Child's Play: How Don Mancini's Personal Life Inspired The Movie Franchise

One homage cut from Freaky - which can be seen in the trailer - is a visual riff on A Nightmare On Elm Street. Following the first attack, Millie is taking a bath and covers her face with a towel. In the deleted scene, the Butcher's hand is seen approaching her face and touching it, before she snaps out of it. This plays on the bathtub scare from Nightmare On Elm Street, where Freddy Krueger's clawed hand is seen reaching for Nancy while she's taking a bath.

Next: Everything We Know So Far About Freaky 2

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