Macabre…ish Horror Review: The Lifechanger
The Lifechanger, 2018/ 1 hr 24 min
A suspected serial killer, Drew (Bill Oberst Jr.), takes the form of his victims, complete with their thoughts and memories. After which he cuts the body up, bags it and buries the remains. All in his new identity. The current identity, Emily (Elitsa Bako), is a woman people worried about and looked after, so three days later, a friend and the cops arrive to check on her.
Both friend and cop are killed and one of their identities were taken but as usual, clean up has to happened before Drew moves on. He is now a detective named Freddy (Steve Kasan).
The newly minted Freddy heads to a bar and chats up a woman, Julia (Lora Burke), that he knew in a past life and identity. He surprises her with his personality and uncanny knowledge of her. They hit it off but Freddy becomes ill again and desperately needs a new body.
The bodies that Drew/Freddy swaps into, rot, and it is happening faster than normal. He has to take drugs to slow it down because once the bodies decay, he has to find a new host quickly. Also, when he’s injured, the injuries do not follow him to the next body, until now. It forces him to get a new host out in the open and before he’s ready.
He finds a man in the parking lot and after shooing off his conquest, Freddy takes a new body. This time, that of a married letch, a dentist named Dr. Sam Richardson (Sam White).
As Dr. Richardson, he sees Julia on the street after a year and is desperate to see her again. Playing the part of his ‘host’ and keeping up appearances is draining to the spirit. He’s really only happy when he’s with Julia, so he returns to the bar, gets drunk and chats her up. She tells him about her former husband and son who died, years ago.
When Sam wakes up at his hotel and finds himself decaying, he calls up his dental assistant, Rachel (Rachel VanDuzer) and asks her to come over and she does. Then Drew, formerly Freddy and currently Sam, is now Rachel.
That night, Rachel goes to the bar for a drink with Julia and introduces herself as Drew. Julia is writing book and invites Drew to her office if she ever wants to talk. When a guy cuts in Julia leaves to talk to another guy at a nearby table. Then Drew/Rachel leaves with the guy at the bar and after some aggressive making out and sharing some coke, he goes for some sexual assault that turns into a physical altercation and Drew kills him. She quickly changes and leaves until the police activity dies down. She’s already showing signs of decay.
She decides to confess the truth of who she is to Julia and on the way to her office, sees her and the guy from the bar. Drew/Rachel follows him home and she swaps places with him. Drew/Rachel goes from a 20 something year old woman to a bearded, silver fox with a top knot named Robert (Jack Foley). He immediately calls Julia for a date tonight.
Robert feels very familiar to her and the date goes well, they spend the night together and he wakes Julia up with breakfast. But Robert needs to get home and despose of his last body.
But the next day on the news, they’re reporting on a dumping ground and Julia recognizes some of the victims plus it’s nearby. Julia is unnerved. And Robert is fighting back the decay and losing the battle.
After becoming ill in the bathroom, Robert finally decides to tell Julia the truth and she takes it as expected, not well. She’s confused and afraid, it doesn’t make any sense to her but he tells the story from the beginning.
That he’s older than he looks, and that he takes people and their lives but that’s not all, he’s known her a lot longer than she knows. He confesses to being Drew and he’s met her a dozen times before. He saw her with Richard, her husband. He saw their love and wanted it for himself and he had it.
She is so upset she tries to leave and he confesses to knowing where Richard is. Robert tries desperately to convince her that he isn’t a monster and that it was all necessary for his survival. She lashes out because he won’t let her leave and in the tussle, Robert accidentally swaps with her. Robert is now Julia and she’s devastated.
Julia returns to the bar for one last drink and goodbye before the decision is made, Julia will not resist death this time. No more body swapping, this will be the end. And that night, in bed, there is no resistance but death does not come as expected but something does. On the bed, instead of a corpse there is a cocoon. What hatches out of it is unexpected. Maybe there is no end, after all.
This horror/thriller was directed by Justin McConnell. This was a well thought out and interesting body swap film. It builds into a kind of gut wrenching end and he narrator is perfect. It’s not particularly graphic but you get just enough. Also the swaps are pretty quick, we do not have to wait long before the character changes which also means I really needed to pay attention to keep up. Because when the swap changes, everything changes and it’s easy to get lost.
If you enjoyed this, Justin McConnell was a guest on my podcast, Macabre…ish Cults, Classics and Horrors Podcast, find it here or wherever you get your podcasts!