TIFF18: Freaks

A young girl wants to escape from her father’s protective control in Freaks. Seven year old Chloe (Lexy Kolker) has spent her whole life living in hiding with her father Henry (Emile Hirsch), who warns her of the dangers outside. However, Chloe soon becomes fed up with her captivity and ventures outside, where she meets ice cream salesman Mr. Snowcone (Bruce Dern), who seems to have a familiarity with Chloe and her family. This kickstarts a journey of discover that will forever change how Chloe views the world.

In the science fiction thriller Freaks, first time filmmakers Zach Lipovsky and Adam Stein create a somewhat dystopian world, where a subsection of “abnormal” humans are shunned and hunted by society. Told entirely from the point of view of Chloe, Freaks slowly builds up this world, starting off as an isolated drama, before revealing the dangerous world outside of Chloe’s house.

While Freaks is probably a film best seen knowing a little about the plot as possible, I will say that this world where abnormal humans are shunned by society is somewhat similar to the X-Men comics and films, except with a more gritty real-world feel. Freaks benefits greatly from the casting of Bruce Dern, who ends up stealing every scene he is in and has great chemistry with the newcomer Lexy Kolker. Overall, I would say that Freaks turned out to be an enjoyable science fiction thriller.

Screenings

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Sean Kelly Author

Sean Patrick Kelly is a self-described über-geek, who has been an avid film lover for all his life. He graduated from York University in 2010 with an honours B.A. in Cinema and Media Studies and he likes to believe he knows what he’s talking about when he writes about film (despite occasionally going on pointless rants).