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Freaky Farley (2007)

Freaky Farley


Freaky Farley is a strange independent film that is actually shot on film as opposed to video.  I'm not putting down video.  A lot of the stuff that's shot on video is really cool.  However, film is expensive, so I mention that Freaky Farley is shot on film because I instantly have a certain amount of respect for any independent project that's shot on film.  I guess I feel like the people who made it must be pretty damn serious if they are going to spend the money that it would take to film an 83 minute movie.  Plus, it's a lot easier to make film look good than it is to make video look good, so with a movie that's shot on film, you know it's going to look OK even if the filmmakers don't know what they're doing.  It gives them an edge.  

The fact that this is shot on film is not why it's strange though.  Freaky Farley is sometimes billed as a horror movie in the style of classic horror movies from the 1970s and 1980s.  I've also seen it described as a horror-comedy.  Although it has elements of both a horror movie and a comedy, is shot on film and clearly draws from 1970s and 1980s horror movies, I don't think that Freaky Farley can accurately be described as any of this.  It seems to me that the film is really more of a bizarre art film masquerading as a classic horror movie.  There isn't a lot of blood and gore.  In fact, the first killing doesn't even happen until 55 minutes into the movie and even then; it's not really very bloody.  There's no nudity despite the fact that the main character is billed as a voyeur in the promotional synopsis.  The story follows the killer rather than the victims, so it's not like he jumps out and startles you in the middle a darkly lit scene with creepy music.  Also, you really sympathize with the guy, so he's pretty much the hero of the film.  There are a lot of comedic elements, but they're more subtle.  This is not Scary Movie with slapstick humor and classic overused gags, the humor is a lot darker and probably makes more sense if you've seen a lot of bad B-Movies and have an offbeat sense of humor.

Freaky Farley is about a guy who's pretty much a loner and a loser.  His mother died when he was a kid and his father has been hard on him ever since, making him dig holes whenever he does something wrong.  He enjoys spending time floating down the local river or spying on people in the neighborhood; which by the way is populated by an interesting cast of characters including a badly costumed ninja, a witch, a bearded homeless guy and a forest full of monsters.  Farley begins to hang out with a cool, outgoing chick and just when things start to look up for Farley, it all falls apart.  

The audio isn't too bad although the volume of the dialog is somewhat inconsistent.  The film is shot pretty well and the editing is good.  The background music sounds very much like the classic stuff from the old horror movies, but some of the songs that were used were pretty bad.  Having a drum machine really took away from the 1970s vibe of the movie.  I was surprised at how good some of the acting was.   Writer and lead actor Matt Farley delivers a good performance as lead character Freaky Farley.  Sharon Scalzo was excellent as Farley's friend Scarlett Carter, a rare character with whom it would be easy for any viewer to fall in love.  I would see another movie with her based solely on the fact that she was in it.  Kevin McGee, Steff Deschenes, Katie Reidy also delivered noteworthy performances. 

If you are looking for blood and guts, hot chicks losing their clothes, suspense, action, or your standard classic horror movie story, this movie is not for you.  However, if you are a fan of classic bad horror movies of the 1970s and 1980s and you're looking for something new and different, I would recommend checking out Freaky Farley.

Gore-o-meter rating: 0 out of 5 (no gore)

Skin-o-meter: 0 out of 5 (no nudity)