Freaks: You’re One of Us parents guide

Freaks: You’re One of Us Parent Guide

When it isn't being blandly forgettable, this movie feels like a Scientology fever dream.

Overall D

Netflix: An unassuming German fry cook has been reliably informed by a hobo she bumps into that she has superpowers - and weirdly enough, he seems to be right. But once she discovers her powers, she also learns that there's a huge conspiracy afoot...

Release date September 2, 2020

Violence C-
Sexual Content D
Profanity D
Substance Use C

Why is Freaks: You’re One of Us rated Not Rated? The MPAA rated Freaks: You’re One of Us Not Rated

Run Time: 92 minutes

Parent Movie Review

Wendy (Cornelia Gröschel) is a fry cook at a small restaurant, and her husband (Frederick Linkemann) is a security guard at an electronics store. Even with two incomes, they are behind on their home payments and stressed out. Wendy has been hoping for a promotion at work, but her overbearing boss isn’t interested, telling her instead to take out the trash. While hauling the kitchen waste to the dumpster, Wendy bumps into a strange homeless man named Marek, who cryptically tells her “You’re one of us”, and that she should stop taking her medication. Once she does, Wendy finds that she has super-strength – and that she’s not the only one whose incredible abilities are suppressed by medication and some shady government operatives…

This movie is remarkably unremarkable. I just finished watching it and I already struggled to remember enough to write a synopsis. It feels like I watched it on a long flight last year and fell asleep somewhere in the middle – not a good sign for a movie I watched at home five minutes ago. When it isn’t being blandly forgettable, it feels like some kind of Scientology fever-dream, where your malevolent psychiatrist is giving you pills to block your innate powers. I’m halfway surprised Tom Cruise wasn’t attached to the production.

I’m not sure why superhero movies are being produced at such a rate. Marvel alone has more than saturated the market (at least as far as I care to watch), and with DC slipping their flicks in their now and then, I’m all superhero-ed out long before any of these third-party non-franchise movies make the screen. Smaller films already have a struggle to get noticed amidst the noise, but when you decide to compete with some of the largest and most profitable studios in the industry, the odds of success are not high – especially when this is your finished product.

Freaks: You’re One of Us isn’t a family film by any stretch, primarily due to the profanity and unpleasant sexual content which includes a masturbation scene and an attempted rape. The violence is on the milder side of what you’ll see in hero movies these days, but nothing else about the film is suitable for younger audiences. I watched the movie in the original German with English subtitles but based on my limited knowledge of German profanity it sounded like a good match. The profanity in the English dubbed version might vary slightly, but not enough to matter. Even if the film were completely free of profanity and sexual content, it still wouldn’t be worth watching. You could have the same experience by lightly dozing or taking cold medication during any given superhero flick. That method has the advantage of avoiding the paranoid evil psychiatrist vibe, too.

Directed by Felix Binder. Starring FInnlay Berger, Thelma Buabeng, and Gisa Flake. Running time: 92 minutes. Theatrical release September 2, 2020. Updated

Freaks: You’re One of Us
Rating & Content Info

Why is Freaks: You’re One of Us rated Not Rated? Freaks: You’re One of Us is rated Not Rated by the MPAA

Violence: An individual jumps off a bridge and is hit by a truck but is unharmed. Several people are hit with super-strength punches, typically flying into cars or lampposts. Several people are electrocuted, some fatally. One is shown with severe burns as a result. A character deliberately causes a car accident. One person is fatally shot.
Sexual Content: There is a scene depicting masturbation and another depicting sexual sounds emanating from another room, with no graphic nudity. There is a scene showing an attempted rape.
Profanity: There are 13 uses of extreme profanity and 18 uses of scatological cursing, along with occasional mild profanity and terms of deity.
Alcohol / Drug Use: Several characters are shown drinking socially. One individual is depicted as drunk.

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Freaks: You’re One of Us Parents' Guide

Elmar gets so caught up in his superhero fantasy that he loses track of what really matters. Why do you think he gets so distracted? How do his fantasies affect other people’s realities?

Wendy is unwilling to be honest about her abilities, first with herself, and then with her family. What are the consequences? Why does she tell her husband the lies she does? How does that dishonesty affect her son?

Home Video

Related home video titles:

A similarly titled film (with an equally similar premise about suppressing superpowers), Freaks, has much better acting and a more coherent plot. A classic franchise for those looking for a more mainstream take on this premise should check out the X-Men films, especially the first three films: X-Men, X-2: X-Men United, and X-Men 3: The Last Stand. Netflix also just released Project Power, in which people get superpowers from an illegal drug.