Fantasia 2019 Review: ‘Freaks’ Is Delightfully Thrilling!

A few months back, we had the opportunity to review Freaks and interview Emile Hirsch, and it was quite the experience. However, I personally never got to see the film, so when the opportunity came for me to review it for Fantasia 2019, I jumped at the chance.

I absolutely love thrillers, and my co-partner at PopHorror, Tracy Allen, raved about Freaks. We typically have the same taste in films, so I was sure I was going to love it… but did I?


This film was co-directed, co-produced and co-written by Zach Lipovsky (Leprechaun Origins 2014 – read our review here) and Adam B. Stein (Nerd Court TV series). The film stars Emile Hirsch (Into the Wild 2007, The Autopsy of Jane Doe 2016 – read our review hereNever Grow Old 2019 – read our review here), Bruce Dern (The Hateful Eight 2015, The ‘Burbs 1989), Lexy Kolker (Shooter TV series, The Little Mermaid 2018), Amanda Crew (A Haunting In Connecticut 2009, Final Destination 2 2006), Ava Telek (Flowers in the Attic 2014), Michelle Harrison (Paycheck 2003) and Grace Park (Hawaii 5-0 TV series, Battlestar Galactica TV series).

Music for this An Amazing Incorporated Production was composed by Supernatural’s Tim Wynn, while the visual effects were created by Chris Orchard (Jackhammer 2013) and Ben Pickles (Father’s Day 2011).

Synopsis for Freaks

In this genre-bending psychological sci-fi thriller, a bold girl discovers a bizarre, threatening, and mysterious new world beyond her front door after she escapes her father’s protective and paranoid control.

Wow. This film completely took me by surprise in the best way possible. It’s such a unique story with twists and turns lurking around every corner. The performances are amazing by all parties, and the imagery is stunning.

I’m not going to say much about the story because I don’t want to give anything away. Based on the synopsis, you’re almost led to believe that this film is going to be like other run of the films that we’ve seen before, with a paranoid parent that’s losing his connection to reality, but it’s far more than that. Just when you think this is film is going one way, it takes a turn in the complete direction.


As I previously mentioned, all of the performances in Freaks are phenomenal. I’ve pretty much enjoyed every single role Emile has ever done, but this one was particularly ground breaking for him. He gives an emotionally driven performance that will break your heart. The rest of the cast is great as well, especially Bruce Dern, Amanda Crew and Lexy Kolker. Bruce Dern is a legend, and he was perfect in this role. I really feel that he brought something special. I’ve always enjoyed Amanda Crew and loved her performance in this as well. Lexy is a brilliant young actress, and I look forward to seeing her career grow – she has many opportunities ahead of her.

One of the things that sells me about a film is the cinematography and imagery. Sometimes that can make or break a film for me. Freaks imagery is breathtaking and sticks with you long after the credits roll.

Bruce Dern in Freaks

Final Thoughts

Freaks is an intense, genre-bending thriller that will mess with your head just the way a film like this should. The beautiful imagery and strong performances will make you feel connected to the film on a deeper level, so much so that it gives you goosebumps. Make sure to check Freaks out when it his theaters on August 23rd. Many thanks to Fantasia 2019 for letting me experience this amazing film!

About Tori Danielle

Tori has had a passion for Horror and music ever since she was a little girl. She got bit by the writing bug in high school where she was involved in both the school newspaper and the yearbook. While getting her Bachelors degree, she took Journalism and Creative Writing classes where her passion grew even stronger. Now, in between work and family, she spends all of her spare time indulging in music, Horror movies, and nerdy fandoms, all while running/assisting one of the biggest Horror groups on Facebook and writing for various websites.

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