Freddy Eddy Movie Review
Written by Joel Harley
Released by Filmlawine
Written and directed by Tini Tüllmann
2016, 94 minutes, Not Yet Rated
UK FrightFest premiere 25th August 2017
Felix Schäfer as Freddy
Felix Schäferas Eddy
Jessica Schwarz as Paula
Greta Bohacek as Mizi
Freddy Jelik seems to be categorically destroying his own life without even being aware of it. The once-successful artist is left bankrupt and alone when he is accused of beating up his wife and told that he personally emptied and closed his own bank accounts himself. In a dark place, Freddy turns to his old childhood imaginary friend and doppelganger, Eddy.
While the return of an old friend eases Freddy’s sense of isolation and even a couple of minor problems – not to mention giving him someone to play videogames with – soon he begins to question how far into his psyche his Dark Half reaches. Eddy could be more trouble than he’s worth as he takes a strong interest in a local teenager, serenading the kid, sneaking her away from her mum and threatening to irrevocably destroy Freddy’s already shattered reputation. His criminal record, too.
Cheeky character names aside (and I'm sure the Drop Dead Fred name-share is just coincidence too) Freddy Eddy is more than just another spin on the classic Jekyll and Hyde tale, keeping audiences guessing for much of its glacially paced story. Is Eddy an Edward Hyde style split personality, a figment of Freddy’s imagination, or a full-blown evil twin out to ruin his life? Whatever the case, the authorities and Freddy’s friends and neighbours are sceptical, leaving Freddy to solve the mystery himself.
One of the film’s smartest touches is in having Eddy act in a very similar fashion to Freddy. There’s no overt scenery-chewing from either Jelik, no Hulk-like bodily transformations, no overtly villainous monologuing. Like the recent Goodnight Mommy, it’s a chilly slow-burner, more mystery than outright horror film or thriller. Even Eddy’s evil is remarkably banal, his crimes on a much smaller scale than his cinematic and literary peers – he seems more content to ruin Freddy’s life than become a mass murderer or serial killer. Never mind Jekyll, in terms of action, it’s barely even Twin Peaks or Dead Ringers. Even its literal action sequence is without flourish.
That slow pace and relative lack of stakes may put some off (especially when combined with the fairly TV quality visuals), but its central mystery is strong, and the film is anchored by a pair of fine performances from the Henry Cavill-esque Felix Schafer (again, no scenery-chewing), and seamless special effects which allow the actor to share the screen with himself and interact to an impressive degree.
Cold, non-showy and very German, Freddy Eddy is an efficient study in character and story. It has the confidence and skill to take a remarkably low stakes, low bodycount thriller and still have it be, well, thrilling, mostly.