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The German Superhero Movie That's Killing It On Netflix

Ever wanted to see a fry cook become a superhero? Well, lighting up Netflix's top ten list is new movie titled Freaks: You're One of Us (not to be confused with the unrelated 2018 flick Freaks), that hails from Germany. 

Directed by The Red Band Society vet Felix Binder, and written by frequent Dark contributor Marc O. Seng, Freaks tells the story of seemingly normal, working citizens, thrust into a world that's so much bigger than they possibly could have imagined. Freaks is light on radioactive bugs, iron people, and/or high end special effects, but the film does bravely ask the question: "What if there was another superhero movie? But, you know, in German?" 

The story starts out strong, opening on a classroom in tatters. Desks are thrown, hither and yon. There's a hole in the wall, roughly the size of an elementary school principal, but lacking the cleanly defined, Wile E. Coyote-style silhouette demanded by more highbrow audiences. A little girl sits in the corner, shivering and in shock, but otherwise absolutely flaunting the fact that she has one of those cool yellow Walkmans from back in the eighties. Cut to a couple of decades later, where Wendy — a woman who looks suspiciously similar to the aforementioned little girl — is living a life of domestic bliss, with her days punctuated by prescribed doses of an ominous blue pill.

The 'Freaks' are pretty freaky

Wendy, played by Cornelia Gröschel, follows a familiar character arc. Her therapist is trying to control her, and as you can imagine, her medicine is blocking some powerful abilities. Of course, she's not alone, and by the end of the movie, the audience has been introduced to a P.T. Barnum-worthy cast of folks with otherworldly abilities. There's Tim Oliver Schultz as Elmer, a comic book aficionado with the power to do electrical stuff. There's a mysterious homeless guy who displays a real knack for getting run over by trucks and surviving. The denouement sequence introduces a whole new bag of potential super-powered shenanigans, just waiting for producers to greenlight a sequel. True to genre form, there's also a post-credit stinger. All told, though, the film is light on budget, and skews tonally towards a New Mutants vibe.

Freaks: You're One of US is part of Netflix's shot at cracking German language cinema, capping off a trio of original motion pictures which includes the romantic comedy Isi & Ossi, released back in February, and Betonrausch (also known as Rising High), which came out in April. According to the Hollywood Reporter, the streaming service's focus on foreign language works came about due to the success of the Netflix original film Roma, which garnered three Oscars, and a cavalcade of critical acclaim. Whether Freaks joins these hallowed ranks remains to be seen.