Every one of us has wished misery, misfortune, and horror on someone at least once in our lives. Regardless of whether we understand the gravity of the curses we hurl at our enemies psychologically, we let them fly nonetheless. So when we see someone who is truly deserving receive the punishment of a lifetime, it can be quite satisfying. Such is the situation in Boaz Armoni’s Freak Out
Matan, an Israeli soldier in the IDF, leaves his home country to head north into enemy territory for a week of patrol in Lebanon. Already beside himself with uncertainty and a deep longing to return home, Matan becomes acquainted with three other soldiers who take advantage of his weak state and tease him mercilessly. With a lack of respect for the country and a lack of understanding of just how bad things could get they think it will be a weekend of tanning on the base and flirting with the female soldiers. However, almost as soon as they arrive the situation starts to get strange, as horrifying things begin to happen to the soldiers. Struggling to make sense of what’s happening they do the best they can to figure out how to stop the threat and make it out alive.
Considering the subject matter and the region where it takes place Freak Out could’ve turned out very differently. Thankfully it doesn’t take itself too seriously and although it isn’t a comedy it never gets bogged down in drama. With sharp cinematography and a good sense of pace, this film moves well without feeling rushed. You get a good chance to understand everyone without the movie being a character study. Part of this understanding comes from a great script and the other part of it comes from the films cast. Without being to self-indulgent or exaggerated every character feels the way they should and displays multiple dimensions and layers. They are characters, not caricatures. All of this adds to a film that is polished in style and delivery, as it delivers real scares.
Freak Out will be available on iTunes, Amazon and other VOD platforms on April 11th.