Horror Movie News and Reviews

Exclusive: Justin McConnell talks Shape-Shifting Horror-Thriller ‘Lifechanger’

A murderous shape-shifter sets out on a blood-soaked mission to make things right with the woman he loves.  This is how writer-director Justin McConnell (Broken Mile, The Collapsed) describes his upcoming film Lifechanger, which has just begun filming in Canada.

McConnell promises genre fans an entertaining, practical effects-driven thrill ride.  “I mostly wanted to tell a deeply personal story that also moves at a fast pace and hits the beats genre fans look for,” McConnell tells IHorror.  “It’ll be gruesome, and full of fun effects, and a bit of a thrill ride with a solid emotional core.  I’ve always enjoyed practical effects-driven metamorphosis films in the past, and this is kind of like that, mixed with the kind of ‘downward spiral’ story you’d find in neo-noir thrillers.”

McConnell brought various genre influences to Lifechanger.  “It’s hard to be a filmmaker and not be influenced by a thousand different things,” says McConnell.  “I kind of approached this by taking cues from ‘dark night on the town’ thrillers like After Hours and Edmond, while not skimping on the practical effects you’d find in genre films from the 1980s and 1990s.  If you look deep enough, I’m sure you’d find stuff from body-hopping movies like Invasion of the Body Snatchers, The Hidden, The First Power, and Fallen.  But we’re taking a fairly fresh approach to that underlying concept.”

Beyond revealing the film’s logline, McConnell wants audiences to be completely surprised by Lifechanger, which is set for a 2018 release.   “First of all, I think they’ll be surprised by the effects on display,” says McConnell.  “We’re doing stuff I haven’t really seen done this way.  But that being said, there are endless movies that horror fans can choose from now.  I just think they will appreciate this one, as it’s fairly original, and it goes to a lot of unexpected places.   I’m playing this one kind of close to the vest, as I really do believe this film will benefit from audiences going in cold.  There’s so much now that gets spoiled way before anyone sees a frame of the film, and I’ve never been a huge fan of that.  I can say that, over the course of the film, the main character goes through a ton of changes, physically and emotionally, while carving a violent, wide swath through his path in the story.”

Images courtesy of Justin McConnell.