Netflix has been trying their damndest to get into the ‘Superhero’ genre in the last few months. While Disney has been on the shelf due to COVID, the void of heroes in tights has grown bigger and the streaming giant has been desperate to fill it. However, since Netflix doesn’t have the 200 million dollar Chinese budget that Marvel has, they had to settle for less successful properties such as Project Power and The Old Guard.
The latest lower budget superhero attempt comes from Germany in a film called Freaks: You’re One of Us. The film begins with our main character Wendy. Wendy’s life has hit a rough patch, she works as a lowly fry cook looking for a promotion as her bills begin to pile up. However, her lack of confrontation skills has seen her get pushed around by her boss instead of getting what she wants.
Wendy’s tepidness is enforced by her medication that she takes to keep her from going off the deep end, that is until a friendly homeless man informs her that her pills are hindering her potential. After watching the man get hit by a truck and surviving, Wendy discovers that she has the ability of superhuman strength and begins to change her life around, but not exactly for the better.
Freaks had the opportunity to be a smash hit but it couldn’t remain the momentum it establishes with a great 1st half. Wendy is a fine, wholesome protagonist that you root for her to overcome her shortcomings. The premise gives way to a wall of possibilities for a makeshift superhero team up with everyday people similar to the short lived television series ‘Alphas’. The problem lies that once the film introduces the concept of superpowers in this universe, they can’t create a strong conflict to keep the story interesting. The villain of the movie feels very forced and even the motivations behind the group looking to suppress superpowers do not feel justified.
If you have the opportunity watch the subbed version over the dubbed as the bad dubbing is far too distracting. Freaks: You’re One of Us is ½ of a good movie, with some more polish there could have had something here but the finished product falls short.