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Freaks

Freaks

1932
Drama, Suspense/Thriller
1h 4m
Treachery is discovered amongst a traveling circus sideshow. (imdb)
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Freaks

1932
Drama, Suspense/Thriller
1h 4m
Your probable score
Avg Percentile 66.13% from 2023 total ratings

Ratings & Reviews

(2023)
Compact view
Compact view
Rated 10 Sep 2008
95
95th
There are few things as uniquely disturbing as that chase in the rain. It doesn't matter if the guy with no arms or legs can't do anything with that knife in his mouth. He (and his friends) will eventually find you, and you'll be sorry for thinking you're better than them.
Rated 13 Nov 2010
80
86th
Not exactly scary - but really good. The fact that the deformed people we're watching are actual people, not special effects, makes for a very unique experience.
Rated 12 Feb 2014
4
70th
Never thought I'd see a man with no arms or legs squirming through the mud with a knife in his teeth on his way to castrate a strongman, but here we are.
Rated 22 Mar 2012
50
55th
Sure, it took balls of steel to even consider making this in 1932 (and as it turns out, it ruined Tod Browning's remaining career), but that doesn't change the fact that the acting is terrible, the pacing is atrocious, and the ending feels rushed (though, I suppose you could blame those last 2 faults on the studio chopping off 30 minutes of the movie and tacking on a sappy ending that would make Daddy Warbucks retch). On the other hand, it was pretty satisfying to see the freaks get revenge!
Rated 24 Sep 2019
75
69th
I don't know what's more disturbing the storyline, the special effects ? The real life circus performers The terrible "real life" way the performers were treated by the studio At any rate a disturbingly good movie A must watch for scary movies fans
Rated 02 Oct 2019
81
79th
Like seeing Night of the Hunter late in life you get to piece together this flicks place in cinematic history. The compassion and love for the down trodden for the outsider decades before it became en vogue in American cinema. Great performances. Love it!
Rated 21 Dec 2009
91
86th
The direction is sometimes unbearably slow, but Browning's compassion for the whole group of circus freaks makes me forgive him everything. Nobody is exploited here in this harrowing tale of human diversity, evil and revenge.
Rated 05 Apr 2010
88
95th
The fact that this was made in '32... wow. Quite ballsy for its time. Even though it won't shock anyone the way it must have once done, what's left is a surprisingly engaging (if predictable) film with some inspired moments.
Rated 11 Feb 2012
48
7th
Browning made a bold decision to cast actual circus performers in his movie, and it pays off horribly as you would have guessed. It's bad acting the whole way around, and without trying to sound mean or prejudiced, I really couldn't understand anything that the little people said. Even putting all of that aside, it's still pretty boring.
Rated 08 May 2012
1
12th
Tod Browning really didn't know how to make a film, did he? The acting is atrocious, directing is weak, writing is embarrassing and they really needed to give this thing a score of some sort. Overpraised and dated as hell, avoid at all costs.
Rated 31 Mar 2007
80
68th
The "normal" humans hadn't learned to act for sound films yet, but this movie remains a subgenre of one. Recommended
Rated 14 Aug 2007
69
27th
Slightly disapointed, the narration's a bit flat with a pretty straight forward story. I guess the freaks were to be "shocking" enough, but perhaps the director's cut would have added to the story because this was pretty much cookie cut around the horror.
Rated 20 May 2008
85
77th
20 Mayis 08 & kabul, gunumuzde bile curetkar olarak sifatlandirilabilinecek bir film.Browning bir kac korku filmiyle yaptigi patlamasi ardindan, bir duzene kadar gercek "freaks" i almis ve ortaya korkudan cok dram filmi cikarmist.duygu somurusu amacli yapildigini dusunmuyorum.Daha cok insani zorlamak ve soke etmek amaciyla yapilmis.Fakat o donemin insanlari bu tip bir "sinirlari zorlayan" filme alisik olmadigindan, film Browning'in kariyerindeki son filmi olmustr.Film 30 dk. kesilmistr.
Rated 26 Oct 2008
75
59th
Freaky shit.
Rated 27 Nov 2008
50
21st
A shameless and weak movie (Just like other Browning movies). Horror? Don't make me laugh! (Unless you don't call disabled people ''freaky''.)
Rated 09 Jun 2009
60
29th
Interesting look at a freaky circus, but not much more.
Rated 25 Nov 2009
80
80th
The end shot is horribly dated, but the rest of it stands up pretty well to the test of time. Not so much a shocker as a film that oozes with uneasy tension. Classic scene: "One of us, one of us! Gooble Gobble Gooble Gobble!"
Rated 29 Jun 2010
83
72nd
I love how ballsy this movie is. I've never seen a movie that showcases physically deformed people with such nonchalance. You could tell most of the players hadn't had much acting experience, but that didn't bother me too much. I loved the climax. Very unique and unsettling film.
Rated 02 Jul 2010
85
92nd
One of the most bizarre horror films ever made, yet it's actually fun and oddly touching, because we see the world through the freaks' eyes and notice that the ordinary people are the most grotesque. And I guess I don't need to mention its finale, which is, wow... you just have to check it! Freaks is a cult favorite, but I find it very hard to like.
Rated 11 Jul 2010
75
67th
A movie that if you are a movie buff of any kind you have to watch. The leaps that it took when it was made in 1932 have very little shock value with people now, but it's still an effective as a bizarre and eerie horror film. There are some very memorable scenes and a truly unsettling climax, but overall this is a movie where the whole is greater than the individual parts. I recommend this to almost everyone, but there are many who won't like it.
Rated 25 Sep 2010
82
95th
Fucking spooky. The pinheads haunted my dreams for months. To this day when I change someones mind and scream "One of us! One of us!" in their face, I feel kinda bad.
Rated 22 Mar 2011
50
47th
So the film quality's not great, the acting is dodgy at best, and there doesn't even seem to be much of a story until the final third, but Freaks has a certain charm to it that means you won't regret giving it 64 minutes of your life. Of course - despite the ahead-of-its-time ideology - you come to see the titular oddities, and the final act allows them to please their baying punters with a genuinely eerie climax (until it all ends rather abruptly).
Rated 04 Feb 2012
75
29th
An odd case of a film that's both ahead of its time - just showing most of the cast on screen must have been shocking in '32, especially while portraying the "freaks" in a positive light - while completely and uncomfortably of its time - they're still called freaks, and that ending, while memorable, keeps them frightening. But, in all honesty the biggest problem is the actress who plays Frida, who just plain isn't very good, and has a substantial and important role that needs her to be.
Rated 03 Mar 2012
90
84th
Somehow both extremely exploitative and heartrendingly honest, Freaks is a cinematic gem. Harry Earles is fantastic.
Rated 01 Sep 2012
70
51st
Singular pre-Code madness. It's a tragedy it's incomplete.
Rated 19 Sep 2013
85
94th
I think the intentions here were honorable enough. The title referenced actors aren't exploited any more than anyone else necessarily is in the movie business and their characters are treated with a certain amount of dignity. Can we say the same about the Wayans Brothers?
Rated 18 Jul 2014
63
42nd
In some senses it's one of those classics you appreciate more than you like. At the same time, though, it's really memorable and it's really effective. Opens too many threads for its short run time, but the central story is done well.
Rated 26 Dec 2014
64
60th
May I call it "overrated"?
Rated 17 Jan 2015
55
28th
I respect a lot about this film: I love the way Browning pulls the audience in, making the viewer sympathize with the "freaks" to the point that by the end, even to us, the "normal" characters look like outsiders. Browning did a brilliant job with the finale as well, making ingenious use of a cast of actual sideshow performers with a touching final scene. I just wish the movie had better editing; even accounting for differences in pacing over 80 years, the film feels extremely sluggish.
Rated 28 Oct 2018
80
78th
Holy jumping Christmas! The plot is very thin, but it still provides enough structure for an ongoing parade of deformed characters (almost all of whom were true "freaks" from circus sideshows) that keeps going even through the climax. Incredibly daring, and well worth watching.
Rated 06 Oct 2019
43
37th
Okay, beyond having people with disabilities in the film and portraying them sympathetically - what the hell is so good about it to warrant these high scores? Even the "one of us" scene was more memorable than the climax.
Rated 29 Oct 2020
75
84th
While mangled in post, Freaks' power derives from its moral ambiguity which surely would have been even more pronounced in Browning's original cut. Nevertheless, it cunningly plays with our fascination and revulsion with the 'other', complicating the problem of identification at crucial narrative turns. Browning also has a knack for capturing the unique physiognomy of his unusual subjects, and it's amazing that he was able to populate a studio project with them. Seminal.
Rated 05 Oct 2021
5
93rd
It's astonishing to consider just how radical this reproach of standardized normality was and in many ways remains. Fuck you, Hollywood.
Rated 17 Feb 2007
60
62nd
A must see.
Rated 14 Aug 2007
80
64th
Sem saber o assisti em seu aniversário de lançamento, ainda tenho esperança que o corte original seja encontrado em alguma lata perdida em algum sotão ou porão por aí. O curioso é que dentro da excelente filmografia do Browning, este é o filme que menos gosto, sobretudo porque ele é alçado na categoria de cult acima do que é realmente bom. DVD Obras-primas do cinema.
Rated 14 Aug 2007
80
91st
Dramatic and thoughtful. If you're going to see just one movie ever that has the audacity to take advantage of actual human 'freaks', definitely make it this one (unless midgets count, in which case see Herzog's Even Dwarfs Started Small).
Rated 14 Aug 2007
76
87th
Score based on distant memory.
Rated 30 Sep 2007
87
79th
Probably the most entertaining "old" movie I've seen. So ahead of its time and so one of a kind. This movie could have only existed at the time it came out...now some bitches would call this exploitation. CMON! We need more freak shows.
Rated 01 Mar 2008
89
82nd
# 221
Rated 04 Mar 2008
84
77th
Exploitative, but it's still quite effective both as a horror film and a sympathetic examination of the 'freaks.'
Rated 01 May 2008
95
97th
A tender-hearted masterpiece. Bring forth associations to Lynch' later The Elephant Man.
Rated 09 Aug 2008
90
71st
Campy yet eerie and creepy at times..with a cast of real-life "FREAKS" the final scene is at the very least disturbing and triumphant.
Rated 14 Oct 2008
8
80th
It's good even without the 30 minutes of lost footage.
Rated 19 Dec 2008
90
80th
207
Rated 08 Mar 2009
4
0th
"If the heart of the horror movie is the annihilating Other, the Other has never appeared with more vividness, teasing sympathy, and terror than in this."
Rated 21 Apr 2009
92
98th
I am not particularly big fan of Tod Browning's work on Dracula, but this one I admit to be eerie, haunting and memorable.
Rated 14 Jun 2009
71
56th
A movie not to been seen with contemporary horror standards. ... This movie is probably really important for movie-history, but it defnitely lost some it's eeriness, and controversial value. ... Nevertheless in retrospect of the 1930's quite confronting.
Rated 03 Jul 2009
95
92nd
Browning's best movie was wildly ahead of its time. Perhaps the normals didn't like to be told that they were the monsters. A must-see, very tough and chilling.
Rated 16 Aug 2009
76
34th
What did I just watch? And how can Tod Browning can go from directing the successful Dracula with Lugosi and then did Freaks next which ruined his career? Oh and it's been said before but don't look at this as a horror film because it's not at all but the circus people may seemed it to you. Decent movie at best, memorable characters.
Rated 01 Sep 2009
96
80th
not the horror movie i was expecting, but much better. it's really a charming movie about class warfare between the "freaks" and the "normals." i love that it shows how the freaks may look different on the outside, but on the inside they're some of the sweetest individuals. similarly, the normals are often rotten on the inside while normal on the outside.
Rated 23 Dec 2009
7
55th
Concebido como um filme de horror, causou polêmica à época por conter cenas fortes e pessoas com claras deficiências físicas, os 'freaks'. Fica mais como um registro histórico e uma sensível revolução estética que como um filme contundente e obrigatório. Lynch bebeu de 'Freaks' em seu 'Elephant Man'.
Rated 13 Jan 2010
91
82nd
177
Rated 08 Feb 2010
43
21st
There were only about 30 minutes worth of plot and the whole thing was obvious quickly. The climax made up for a lot.
Rated 24 Feb 2010
85
63rd
Edgy, mean, pre-Code nastiness. Will never not notice that Hans looks like a little person Gordon Ramsay.
Rated 13 Jul 2010
9
94th
"They're going to make you one of them, my peacock!" Absolutely breathtaking stuff by Tod 'Don't Call Me Dracula' Browning. Eerie, idiosyncratic, horrifying, funny and with some monumentally weird shifts in tone. But it all gels. How in earth...? What a freak.
Rated 21 Sep 2010
80
81st
You have to see it, to believe it.
Rated 21 Nov 2010
20
17th
Exploitation at its dumbest.
Rated 25 Dec 2010
87
85th
87.250
Rated 07 Feb 2011
40
97th
"Browning uses the film's famous "Wedding Feast" sequence and its rhythmic use of montage to fantastically blur the lines between the normal and the abnormal." - Ed Gonzalez
Rated 15 Feb 2011
8
92nd
Freaky and controversial. Like it or not, if you see it you wont forget it
Rated 11 Jun 2011
60
68th
3/5
Rated 03 Oct 2011
9
93rd
Underwritten, most of the cast can't act, the denoument so badly handled it seems censored (?), and yet, this is touching and excrutiating and uncomfortable and disturbing in a way few movies are. Take it or leave it.
Rated 14 Oct 2011
78
42nd
A quirky movie that was way ahead of its time.
Rated 30 Nov 2011
92
84th
#164
Rated 08 Dec 2011
60
72nd
Worth watching since most, if not all, of the "freaks" were real people. They're amazing enough in themselves, even if the movie sucked otherwise. I read "Spurs", the story this movie is based on, many years ago. Hans is a vicious and vindictive character in the story. I think I prefer the movie.
Rated 19 Jan 2012
70
67th
I found it... Odd. It's pretty much just a 'slice of life' story about performers in a travelling circus. It also did actually scare me a little from time to time. These truly bizarre-looking people acting in strange or menacing ways - it was kinda frightening. I wouldn't call it a truly good film at all, but it's certainly interesting and a must-see for any film history buff.
Rated 26 Jan 2012
30
14th
This isn't a great movie. Watch it anyway. You need 'Gooble, Gobble' in our vocabulary.
Rated 21 May 2012
9
91st
A truly unique oddity that remains more shocking than 90% of the horror films that come out of Hollywood today.
Rated 17 Jun 2012
85
78th
A twisted, yet touching classic about the lives and loves of a band of carnival sideshow freaks. The approach by the filmmakers to basically treat these characters no differently than any "normal" character is really interesting.
Rated 16 Dec 2012
90
78th
A little dated, but man it sticks with you.
Rated 27 Dec 2012
90
99th
It's not a perfect movie, but it such a different creation then anything else made that it's power is undeniable. One of my favorites and secures Tod Browning place in history even if sound movies was not something he ever got used to. Freaks is a movie that both entertains and also makes you think. It quite simple makes an impact on whoever watches. Be it disgust, curiosity or pure charm of a sub-culture world of the old days.
Rated 21 Apr 2013
75
46th
Exploitative to the core, but wow, is this ever a shocking and unapologetic movie. A "backstage drama" story with a unique spin. This is what pre-Code cinema is all about.
Rated 09 May 2013
40
12th
I wonder if they cast non-actors in this movie. Maybe they did.
Rated 13 May 2013
73
44th
An incredibly bold movie with an equally bold story.
Rated 04 Jul 2013
82
97th
Extraordinary and bold.
Rated 06 Sep 2013
80
84th
* Casting, Acting : 7 * Script : 8 * Directing, Aura : 8 * Ease of Viewing : 7.5 * Naked Eye : 9.5
Rated 07 Sep 2013
80
88th
It sure is an oldy, but it's easy to follow. Some amazing and extreme acting, plus the love (and revenge) story is just PERFECT! I loved the wedding scene. Don't mess with the freaks!! You'll regret it, ONE OF US, ONE OF US, Gooble gobble, gooble gobble!!!
Rated 11 Sep 2013
88
36th
Very disturbing but compelling.
Rated 26 Oct 2013
81
62nd
More compelling as it goes despite some bad acting & 2 many thick accents. It's the kind of film that'll leave u wondering what the hell its director was thinking since there's inherently a mean-spirited callousness in choosing 2 further stigmatize the disabled & malformed by making them the stars of a "monster" movie; but at the same time use the film 2 mostly reinforce the idea that they're no different than the rest of us and deserving of respect. The dvd's special features will call out 2 u.
Rated 29 Oct 2013
70
19th
Viewed October 27, 2013. An unbelievably unpleasant experience. I have a strong urge to never watch this again. Maybe that makes me a bad person.
Rated 11 Nov 2013
5
70th
the first half is dedicated to showing typical human relationships, both of the 'freaks' and the 'normals', which is extremely important as it humanises all members of the film. nevertheless, it clearly expresses vitriolic distaste for the way most people regard those that are different in a way that seems awfully radical for its time. the biggest problem is that the dramatisation and acting are...well, let's say dated. but there's enough here to make it worth watching.
Rated 17 Nov 2013
63
16th
The idea is novel -- "humanizing" physically deformed characters through normal, everyday drama -- but in execution it's just exploitative. The actors' deformities are often used as gimmicks, and the way the camera lingers when it introduces characters tells us that we're supposed to gawk at these people. It's a little provocative, but it's also a little boring (besides an explosive climax). It's all very ironic. The film has its merits, but few of them actually show up on screen.
Rated 17 Feb 2014
30
22nd
A load of absolute nonsense. I don't get that feeling that it's nothing but exploitation, but any story or development is virtually non-existent. A victim of studio meddling (though how it got made in the first place I do not know) but I'm not sure it would have been any good to begin with. At this point, nothing more than a fascinating oddity, much like the subjects of the film itself.
Rated 10 Oct 2014
72
87th
Unforgettable and unique film, that could be found in every worthwhile film history book without being actually that good. But it's hard to judge properly, because only two thirds of Browning's film got past censors of the time. It still has a coherent plot, a timeless story of how's always someone ready to take advantage of the gullible person. I'm not sure if the moral of the film that the physical appearance is what makes the freak makes the use of 'freaks' less exploitative, but whatever.
Rated 14 Nov 2014
85
74th
Overraskende moderne til å være en film fra 1932. Noen av scenene mellom dvergparet og kvinnen Hans prøver å forføre er direkte hjerteskjærende, på en måte som hever denne over andre skrekkfilmer. Er først de siste ti minuttene som egentlig nærmer seg sjangeren, dette er mer et tradisjonelt drama med visse utradisjonelle elementer. Kameraet beveget seg også mye, må ha vært vanskelig å få til.
Rated 27 Jul 2015
80
77th
The saddest part about this film was how much American Horror Story blatantly ripped it off. The main differences between Freaks and AHS is that Freaks actually has likable characters you feel for, good cinematography and a great ending.
Rated 18 Nov 2015
85
86th
While the title of the film itself may be problematic, I contest the argument that this film is exploitative. It's execution may be flawed, but 80 years later, I have yet to watch a film that so earnestly defends and humanizes people with physical and mental disabilities. Despite what others say the climax of the film doesn't undermine this sympathetic portrayal; it's a heroic scene of a long-oppressed group casting vengeance upon their monstrous abusers. Decades ahead of it's time.
Rated 13 Mar 2016
42
23rd
Not really a horror film, Tod Browning never thought of it as one. The films as it stands now is poorly edited and missing a score, would be interesting in seeing Browning's original vision. The acting in either version would still be atrocious as nearly all of the characters are played by non actors many of them didn't even speak English well or at all.
Rated 12 Apr 2016
80
85th
A classic story of family and community and the consequences of messing with both. #1001Movies
Rated 26 Oct 2016
70
76th
It really isn't a horror, is it? Freaks made me feel something. It's just a collection of circus attractions showing that they have lives as well, lives filled with love, revenge, passion, all that jazz. And it is effective.
Rated 10 Nov 2016
70
48th
creepy stuff
Rated 02 Jan 2017
90
91st
Awesome. I was most surprised by how invested I was in the characters. Browning could have just played it all for shock value (which, in '32 it woulda been shocking), but he didn't. There's real heart here, and the drama between them all is fascinating. That doesn't mean that there aren't some eerie parts though, like the chase in the rain at the end. To the credit of all involved, that tonal shift actually worked.
Rated 27 Jan 2017
57
20th
Not a horror film really until the end. Instead, we just get a standard romance story that has some dull characters that move at a slow pace. Still, I was actually surprised how respectful the film was. It doesn't really make up for the dull story but I appreciated that.
Rated 23 Aug 2017
90
97th
A wonder that this film was ever made -and it probably would have stayed in the works if it had been marketed as anything else as a 'horror movie' (or, nowadays, 'cult classic'). One of the most refreshingly matter-of-fact approaches to physical disability in cinema. The freaks are the heroes.
Rated 31 Oct 2017
90
91st
Freaks is an abnormality- no pun intended. Even though it was made in the early 30's, the ending contains a horrifying image rivaling most modern movies. American Horror Story left me with negative baggage, but this movie is near perfect and removed all of the baggage effortlessly.
Rated 17 Feb 2018
20
0th
Freaks: "We accept you, one of us! Gooble Gobble!"
Rated 22 Feb 2019
89
69th
89.00
Rated 27 Oct 2019
70
56th
Shockingly ahead of its time but still steeped in old Gothic-esque aesthetic, arguably more interesting as a visceral visual experience than a suspense story.
Rated 11 Sep 2020
80
68th
Rather than treat disabled people as cruel mistakes of nature, it highlights just how much they are like the rest of us. It shows them living their lives and having real feelings ... everything that people wanted to deny about people they consigned to the circus and carnivals.
Rated 30 Oct 2020
80
70th
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