For a long time now, there have been horror films based on the idea of insect-like metamorphosis. From Dr Brundle’s transformation from man to bluebottle in The Fly (1986) through to a chain of people being made one in The Human Centipede (2009), there has long been a fascination with the concept of how the world would be if we were more like bugs.
In the case of Lifechanger, which debuted at this year’s Frightfest, our main character is more parasite in nature – taking on the form of its victims after making bodily contact and leaving a lifeless husk behind it, and all so it can live on at the cost of others.
Taken from a first-person perspective, the audience follows this ‘life changer’ named Drew as it speedily works its way through countless random people, moving on swiftly to avoid rotting away as death progressively stalks it down.
Remorseless in its pursuit of survival, the creature seems to care little of those that get in its way until it meets a woman that has an intangible special connection which makes it finally think beyond its bloody routine and care about something other than itself. But with a history of murderous deeds and its ultimate demise catching up with it, it’s hard to tell whether it will ever see the error of its ways.
Though a rather unusual concept, Lifechanger is reminiscent of other horror films, the most recent being Replace (2017), which coincidentally featured at Frightfest last year.
Though the film looks to have been made on a relatively low budget, it does well to punch above it’s weight, delivering gross special effects and well graded shots, thanks to some good cinematography and effort in the edit room.
Historically, the story of ‘a hunter than falls in love with its prey’ has been told many times over, but what makes Lifechanger interesting is probably the detail into which the film goes to explain how this monster managers to avoid detection for so long. This, twinned with the rapid pace of the film make it quite compelling to watch and help the viewer to over-look some of the less desirable aspects of the film – such as the odd weak bit of scripting, acting and the fact that the narration drops in and out randomly at times, disrupting the flow a little.
The music is a little jarring in places too, perhaps one area where cost savings were made post production.
Generally though, flaws aside and similarities with other recent films overlooked, Lifechanger does a good job to convey its story and give us insight into the life of a serial killer that is driven purely by survival instead of deviance.
Although you might struggle to fully understand the purpose of Drew’s existence and the significance of his feelings for his one true love, Lifechanger is still a very watchable film with plenty to offer.