Freaks - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Freaks Reviews

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½ October 18, 2014
This is a wonderful film with great performances from Leila Hyams and the freaks themselves. There isn't a whole lot to the story so that why I did absolutely love it but it is a great movie
½ September 28, 2014
This is a lost classic. Another one for your October viewers list. The climax is wonderful creepy, and the payoff makes it all worth it. It offended the sensibilities of movie goers in 1932. It'll probably offend yours, too.
September 12, 2014
One of the most controversial films ever made, I suspect many more people have heard of Tod Browning's 1932 horror flick Freaks than have seen it. Apparently critics at the time saw it as little more than an exploitative shocker, and at times it becomes difficult to defend it as anything other than that. Firmly out of its tree from start to finish, the campy performances and bonkers dialogue make for plenty of cherishably deranged moments. To the horror movie, a genre he helped create, he brought a taste for Victorian melodrama and an understanding, which he must have gained in the circus, for the isolated lives of weird and deformed outsiders. It's really pretty hard to categorize this one, as it has it all: shocks, scares, humor, sweetness, and an undeniable "message". The film is a marvel of weirdness and oddity, a whirlwind of every definition that could possibly be printed under the word "strange." None of the sideshow performers in the film are actors by trade. In fact, most of them read their lines with stiffness that would rival that of a local newscaster. Freaks presents some elements like that, but instead it seems most concerned with gawking at the unusual characters. One side effect that comes with casting actual deformed people means that we find many amateurs in the film, and their acting lives up - or down - to that status. One of the oddest and most notorious films ever made, I can't call Freaks a good movie, but it's undeniably an interesting one. Marred with poor acting and a thin story, it still is intriguing and unusual enough to make it watchable.

VERDICT: "In The Zone" - [Mixed Reaction] These kinds of movies are usually movies that had some good things, but some bad things kept it from being amazing. This rating says buy an ex-rental or a cheap price of the DVD to own. If you consider cinema, ask for people's opinion on the film. (Films that are rated 2.5 or 3 stars)
½ August 29, 2014
In a category all of it's own, a truly unique movie experience.
August 5, 2014
(First and only viewing - 8/21/2013)
July 5, 2014
I really want to see this!!!
June 30, 2014
Freaks is simply a film that would never get made today. Controversial at the time which is understandable considering 90% of the cast are made of actors with physical deformities. The film does prove to be an eye opener but surprisingly is written in a way to portray the individuals in a positive light. The unfortunate individuals are often seen happy and comes across as quite nice people. You do find yourself watching with a smile as you really begin to fall for such lovable folk. The two "normal" characters in the film are portrayed as the villains and you really do begin to hate them as the film goes on.
The ending does seem to create a different opinion however. Some viewers like the ending that is in place, however I felt it gave a mixed message to the characters we were enjoying. It will be down to personal opinion, but for me that ending stopped Freaks from becoming perfect in my eyes.
Whether you like the ending or not, Freaks still gives a strong message now as much as it did back then. Watching it really makes you realise the views some people have on those different to them.
½ June 19, 2014
Frightening and tense, sad and moving, beautiful and poignant all at the same time, Freaks manages to transcend its lack focus in the first act with tremendous character development and a fascinating look at prejudice and ignorance towards the different and suffering. It is that rare horror film that manages to make you nervous with awfully villainous characters and their deeds, while still maintaining a horrifying and truly unbelievable ending. Thanks to fantastic acting, smart approach, superb direction and plenty of deranged and memorable scenes, Freaks is a true gem and one of the best horror films ever made. An undisputed classic.
June 10, 2014
The Freaks - Whereas some call this film 'legend of all horror films' other have called it greatest horror film that contains the elements of suffering of a human-kind at the mercy of God almighty. But in my opinion it is an over-reaction for a movie that has not portrayed itself as a horror film; rather, more like a movie that draws attention of society toward something that is often ignored by them.

Ok. So what's horror in it (if we are to agree with the critics)?
Limbless woman drinking from a glass, is that horror?
Man without torso, and legs moving from one spot to another, is that horror?

A worm-like man without legs and arms lights his cigarette with his mouth, is that horror?

The whole movie contained sarcastic and humorous dialogues, is that how these professional critics are going to judge a film and dub it 'legend of all horror films'.

Which university/college degree do they aspire to be over-confident enough to believe that they have more intelligence than rest of university-graduates (I do not believe that a perfect film-degree is needed in order to optimize your genius approach toward the films)? Quentin Tarantino was owner of film-shop, so?
Otherwise in case of some old critics born in later couple of decade since the release of film, might feel nostalgic about watching this in their youth - but all I ask is that why to mislead the next-generation out of your own curiosity for something that is not wholly 'horror' film?

I loved this movie (but not as a horror film - which it is not actually and I'd like to sit with those who wanna debate it with me). I like this film because it has brought a story about those characters that we disregard having seen them in our circus-tour by buying the ticket and freaking out for few minutes and forget that.

Freaks is about freakish people in the circus (although live-in circus is not shown - we are rather shown the behind-the-curtain life of these characters). Mostly they are friendly toward everybody, chilling out every bit of the time they'd had. Making fun of others, and feeling concerned about other peoples' worries.
They're polite and humble up until you act like the same way toward them. But what happens if you devise a plan to kill one of them and get away with the saved-treasure? Moreover that perpetrator of crime happens to be one of the human-beings working alongside with them? Yes, of course they'd keep their inner-quality aside and adopt what they carry in their external body, to take revenge.

The myth here is that, most of the time human-being act in the way that could've possibly been expected of those freaks.

There is popular so-called proverb in the Sindh province of Pakistan among the youths, it says, "In the today's world of high-class wardrobe worn by all-that, it has become quite IMPOSSIBLE to DISTINGUISH between a GENTLEMAN and a PIMP".

Same (rightfully) goes for the body-perfect humans in 'Freaks' who try to be exceptional from those freaks (they call), and yet in fact they are the ones acting more like it.

Fast-paced film, does not bore you, in fact you enjoy their sarcastic lines, feel pity for what they have to suffer. But please, please I humbly request you not to call this 'horror'! By calling this 'horror film' the critics have become those who do not realize the friendly and amicable environment these freakish characters enjoy in the film--- until some of people try to actually 'MURDER' one of them. If still they press about calling it 'horror' then I believe they did not understand the message of director 'Tod'.
½ May 13, 2014
A beleza do do filme esta no jogo entre as linhas que delimitam o normal do anormal, eles e nós, e até mesmo a moralidade e a imoralidade, são constantemente postas em causa e invertidas. Este Filme de 1932 continua a impressionar graças ao seu elenco atípico com um desempenho notavel e incômodo ao acto final.
½ April 5, 2014
A peculiar and really fun old film about a group of circus freaks and their interactions. I´ve read that it is catalogued as a horror movie, but I don´t agree at all. It´s more of a comedy with strange looking but really human characters that make it entertaining
April 2, 2014
films featuring the character unique and interesting
½ March 24, 2014
Freaks (Tod Browning, 1932)
[originally posted 5Nov2001]

While Tod Browning directed sixty-two films, from the early days of silent movies until the beginning of World War II, the vast majority of filmgoers (even of the snob variety) remember Browning solely for Freaks, his groundbreaking 1932 picture about carnival life. (Browning also directed Lugosi's Dracula and Chaney in a number of films, but the stars tended to eclipse the director in those cases.)

The plot of the film is one of the mothers of all urban legends: a "normal" woman, Cleopatra the trapeze artist (Olga Baclanova) romances a sideshow performer, Hans the midget (Harry Earles) away from his fiancee, fellow midget Freida (Harry's real-life wife, Daisy), in order to get his inheritance so she and her real love, Hercules (Henry Victor) can run off and live like king and queen. This, needless to say, disquiets the sideshow populace, who get revenge on Cleopatra in a rather unique way. The plot is also, as should be obvious, quite thin and silly. The acting, in many cases, is atrocious, aside from a few Hollywood veterans, notably Henry Victor and Roscoe Ates, both of whom were quite well-known in their day (Victor was the lead in the 1916 production of The Picture of Dorian Gray; Ates was a character actor with a resume that encompassed such films as Gone with the Wind, The Champ, King Kong, and the 1933 live-action version of Alice in Wonderland). In other words, if you're looking for your basic Hollywood blockbuster, you're going to be disappointed.

What makes Freaks (based on Clarence Robbins' novel Spurs) a classic is that Browning cast actual sideshow performers in many roles, and then handed them a script that treated them as human beings rather than freaks; the beauty of the movie's title is in its irony (something missed by many over the years who would have had the film banned). Browning's movie should have ushered in a new era of tolerance and recognition that so-called accidents of birth are human, too; unfortunately, more recent exploitation flicks like Freaks Uncensored! (1999) and the ever-popular Mondo Cane series (made between 1962 and 1988) provide pretty solid evidence that such is not the case. (It is another sad irony that the cast list for Freaks Uncensored! contains many of the same names as does Browning's film.) Still, Browning is certainly to be commended for trying, at least, and his amusing little peccadillo is certainly worth going out of your way to watch a time or two. **** 1/2
March 21, 2014
A disturbing, but undeniably well-made, drama-horror story.
February 26, 2014
Unclassifiable odd masterpiece!
February 21, 2014
Since I was an itty bitty kiddo I have been enthralled by sideshow performers! This film, being slightly embellished on "freak" life is a must see for anyone who is hooked on circus life and for those who are only curious.
February 8, 2014
fucking amazing. one of the best films ever made.
February 3, 2014
One of the most greatest movies of all time
½ January 6, 2014
This film is almost unwatchable. It mocks those in special needs and it is disturbing.
Tod Browning obviously had no sympathy for people with disabilities and in soecial needs. He portrayed them as freaks and misfits.
December 27, 2013
Only a genius´work could play and take a chance with the thin line between disturbing and heart-warming. Still as shocking today as it was on its time, "Freaks" creates a whole genre of its own, making the crowds cry, laugh and feel painfully disturbed at the same time.
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