Review: Freaks: You’re One of Us

Cornelia Gröschel in Freaks: You're One of Us

Freaks: You’re One of Us is a German language sci-fi/fantasy tale of superhumans who discover their powers after an encounter with one of their own. It’s available on Netflix.

Freaks: You’re One of Us is full of so many plot holes and illogical turns that even I, who can normally suspend disbelief for almost anything, found it troublesome.

The opening scene is one of horrific damage to a school building with a bloody desk thrown right through a brick wall.

Dr. Stern (Nina Kunzendorf) enters the wrecked and deserted space, finds a little blonde girl, and carries her out.

Fast forward and we meet the adult Wendy (Cornelia Gröschel). She’s now a married mom working in a fast food joint for a terrible boss. She’s passive and takes abuse from her boss without reaction. Her first action on waking is to take two blue pills. She has regular sessions with her doctor, Dr. Stern.

Her husband Lars (Frederic Linkemann) is also employed, but for some reason they cannot pay their bills and are about to be evicted from their home.

Wendy encounters a homeless man named Marek (Wotan Wilke Möhring) scrounging for food outside the restaurant. He tells her she’s one of them. He tells her to stop taking the blue pills to find out who she really is.

She trails the homeless to his living space in an abandoned amusement park. After talking with him, she indeed stops taking the blue pills. Soon she realized she’s super strong.

Wotan Wilke Möhring and Tim Oliver Schultz in Freaks: You're One of Us

Wendy’s coworker Elmar (Tim Oliver Schultz) also turns out to be “one of us.”

They discover that many others with special powers like them are kept secluded and drugged in a facility run by Dr. Stern. Wendy tries to maintain a normal life as a wife and mother while wondering what to do about all the others. As super humans go, I do believe Wendy is the first wife and mother to join those ranks. That alone makes her interesting.

Wendy learns that having special powers doesn’t make you a good person, in fact it only makes people with evil tendencies a terrible threat. Which begs the question, should the government (or the corporation or whatever entity Dr. Stern represents) actually be allowed to drug and subdue those with special powers? Or should they be free to live as they are?

It’s an interesting topic, but it isn’t well developed. Something like True Blood and its exploration of who can live in normal society takes a more nuanced approach. I realize True Blood had 7 season to deal the this theme so maybe I’m expecting too much from a 90 minute movie.

The storyline falls into a morass of plot holes in the last third that made the ending less than satisfactory. The ending may indicate that another movie featuring some of the superpowered folks in this movie lies ahead, but the writing was so poor it’s hard to tell.

Wendy listened to music on an old-timey portable CD player. You can check out the soundtrack at Apple Music.

Overall, the quality of this film is merely average. Cornelia Gröschel was likeable as Wendy. She has the potential to be a heroic leader among the superpowered if future stories are told about this group of people.

See if the trailer looks interesting to you.

If you watch Freaks: You’re One of Us, I’d love to hear what you thought of it.

1 thought on “Review: Freaks: You’re One of Us”

  1. Pingback: Netflix Cracked Open: The Landscape of Entertainment – Tom Talks: Stories and Reflections

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