Saturday, December 29, 2018

My Review Of "Lifechanger"

"Lifechanger" is a horror drama directed by Justin McConnell. The film, starring Lora Burke, Jack Foley, Elitsa Bako, Sam James White, Steve Kasan, Rachel Vanduzer, Peter Higginson, Adam Buller, Brian Quintero, Mark Rainmaker, Ry Barrett, Michelle D'Allesseandro Hatt, Uche Ama, Daniel Faraldo, and Francesco Filice, puts the shapeshifter in existential crisis. "Lifechanger" has been described as "thought - provoking body horror" and I have to agree.

Drew has an identity problem. Every few days, has to shape-shift, or face a painful death. He has to find someone and make a copy. He takes everything: their looks, memories, hopes, and dreams. Their entire life. He becomes them, and they die horribly. Enter Julia, the object of Drew’s affection. How can he make things right when he’s never the same person for very long? How do you gain back trust when who you are keeps changing? Part psychological thriller, part body horror, Lifechanger follows one shape-shifters’ twisted quest to repair the damage he’s caused, while leaving a trail of bodies in his wake.

McConnell's film places the main character in the role of both protagonist and antagonist. A shapeshifter, unsure of what it truly is, fighting emotionally against its own nature and drive to survive. Told in amplified conceptual storytelling, the film flows with a hint of melancholy juxtaposed against frantic horrific circumstances. It is all more "art film" than traditional horror.

The acting is top shelf,  and there is a consistency in identity that is maintained in the many actors who all play the main character Drew. It is an exceptionally hard task to maintain, and a necessity to make a story of this unique nature work. Kudos to both the director and casting. A voice narration lapped over the film by the original Drew helps but had not McConnell's writing been so strong,  the story could have easily become muddled.

The special effects are bone-cracking,  visceral moments of practical, gooey delight. Unfortunately they are short-lived moments for most of the film , which moves pretty quickly. Perhaps if the pace were slower more time to enjoy the horror transformations could have been had, just saying. The pace also cripples the ability to really be vexed by the emotion and drama put forth in "Lifechanger". Still it is a good movie and definitely worth watching. (3.5/5)

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