Isolated, stranded, confined. Matan, a soldier in the IDF, sets off for a week of patrolling in a remote base in the north of the country with his unit. Overwhelmed with homesickness, he becomes an easy target for the other soldiers who try their best to make his life miserable. However, it is not long before strange and frightening things begin to happen to all the soldiers and they start question whether they will come out of this experience alive.
Director Boaz Armoni’s horror-comedy Freak Out is not a terrible movie. It is, however, a disappointing one. The film starts promising with Israeli military office clerk Matan (Itay Zvolon) alone on a bus heading for an unknown one week assignment. The bus soon picks up Uzi (Assaf Ben-Shimon,) Ishay (Eran Peretz,) and Roy (Ofer Ruthenberg.) Unlike Matan, these three are combat soldiers. When the bus enters “enemy territory” and stops at local Arab restaurant, the trio has no qualms about insulting the locals. After tricking Matan into skipping out on the bill, he is terrified the villagers will come after them.
The assignment the soldiers are working has them guarding a small base with a radio tower. Because of the high amount of radiation in the area soldiers are brought in for only a week each. The exceptions are their sergeant, a man named Stas (Kye Korabelnikov.) Stas alternates week to week with another sergeant, a hard driving task master named Adam. By contrast Stas is laid back and only asks the men don’t go in the bunker where tower equipment is and to stay out of his room.
Matan’s paranoia about his compadres and the nearby locals does create some tension. However, the film moves along quite slowly. Nearly half way through I was still waiting for the movie to grab me. There are no scares and practically zero gore. Much of the comedy feels to be juvenile and mean. It’s possible that some things have been lost in the cultural translation.
Freak Out has a good look to it and there are some good performances. But the ending is predictable and I just found myself being bored.