The only constant in Justin McConnell’s intriguing science-fiction thriller is the voiceover narration of Bill Oberst Jr., who voices the thoughts and fears of Drew, a shapeshifter who has gone through so many alterations in his quest for survival that he barely knows who he is any more. Where new hosts once lasted for weeks, they now last barely hours.
There’s a real desperation with Drew, which is conveyed perfectly through a series of fine performances from McConnell’s cast that make one believe you are watching the same, original character. It’s a fine set-up, which builds perfectly as we follow Drew’s quest to reunite with an old love that may be the answer to his forthcoming demise. Unlike many offerings in this genre, there are real emotional depths and consequences in Lifechanger. Drew not only feels his own love, but the love the people he assimilates feel for others.
Amongst the emotion there is also the grotesque; Drew drains the life from his victims leaving a withered, yellowed husk, and there are several sharp scenes of violence with practical effects that don’t skimp on the horror. But those coming to this movie with hopes of cheap thrills will be disappointed. Beautifully shot, edited, and with a haunting score from Sean Motley, this is ultimately a confessional portrait of a creature—or man? We are never entirely sure—that leads to a very unexpected conclusion. Lifechanger is a tragic and lonely story dealing with grief and morality, a fine film that treats its audience with intelligence.
11 Mar 2019