FRIGHTFEST Lifechanger Review

FRIGHTFEST returns and they have a selection of  films from horror less heard or known. Here we have Justin McConnell’s LIFECHANGER. You may ask if Lifechanger was life changing? (See what I did there) Well let me answer that by filling in the detail.  A woman awakes. Laying next to her is the remains of a body that looks exactly like her. Via a voice over we find out that she is in fact he. He has taken over the current body in a bid to stay alive and survive. He is a  shapeshifter who also takes the identity of those killed. However something has changed. In this new body he feels different. As he moves to another body, suddenly he finds that the pain will not go away.

It is rare to see a film which plays with its subject in a way that is interesting and maybe even a little refreshing. It is even more rare to have a film that has its reference points from cinema clear, yet able to subvert them. Referencing THE THING, BODY SNATCHERS and even a little body horror from masters like Cronenberg.  Maybe it is because of the financial restraint in place or maybe it is the director McConnell, who makes his fifth film here with an ease and skill worth engaging with. The last time I was taken in wholly by a film like this was IT FOLLOWS. You could even maybe suggest that you can see films from horror lore like DRACULA and THE PHANTOM in its central themes of loss and isolation that being a monster brings. This all said however we do have a little issue with the film. Its a great starting point and it has that set up so well but as the second act rolls on, it becomes less compelling and more a slow burn into the mind of a shapeshifter / madman on the run.

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