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Exclusive: ‘Lifechanger’: The Making of a Shape-Shifting Horror-Thriller

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Lifechanger, an upcoming horror-thriller film from writer-director Justin McConnell, has wrapped filming in Toronto.  As was previously reported, Lifechanger tells the story of a murderous shape-shifter who embarks on a blood-soaked mission to make amends with the woman he loves.

McConnell promises genre fans that Lifechanger will deliver something they haven’t seen before.  “It’s definitely a horror film, but it isn’t your traditional jump-scare fest or bump-in-the-night story,” says McConnell, who also served as a producer on the independent production.  “You are with the monster, so it’s hard to find that dread when you always know when the threat is going to come, because you’re watching the threat the whole time.  Was Frankenstein frightening?  What this film is, I’d say, is suspenseful.  I’m talking about an old-school, bomb-under-the-table type of suspense, to quote Alfred Hitchcock.  That’s not to say that there’s anything wrong with hack-and-slash, and this film definitely has some of that.”

McConnell says that the twenty-day filming schedule resembled a non-stop marathon.  “With a film like this, where you have some budget but not as much as you really would hope to have to pull of something this ambitious, you rely heavily on your cast and crew giving 110 percent every day,” says McConnell.  “I can say that they really did step up, top to bottom.  We had a lot of long, hard days.  We shot in November and December in Toronto, and a lot of the shooting was outdoors, so it was really, really cold.  We had more locations than shooting days, and I did everything they tell you not to do on a low-budget film.  We had kids, animals, exterior night shooting, stunts, firearms, fire, practical effects, and animatronics.”

Although McConnell brought a wide variety of genre influences to the making of Lifechanger, the writer-director now describes the look and tone of the film as being reminiscent of the television series Mindhunters and the film The Silence of the Lambs.  “We shot it to play more like a traditional thriller, with clean, steady camerawork and a lot of detail paid to composition and lighting depth,” says McConnell.  Tonally, it’s a pretty unique beast.  It floats between drama, dark comedy, full-on horror, and even some action beats.”

Lifechanger, which is being represented by American distributor Uncork’d Entertainment and Toronto-based distributor Raven Banner Entertainment, has yet to be given a 2018 release date.

Photos courtesy of Shawn Goldberg.

 

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Aubrey Plaza Wants to be the Next Tim Burton With ‘Hocus Pocus’ Like Film

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Aubrey Plaza has long been a self-affirmed “sea hag”. Her dark personality and sense of humor has long been a favorite of ours. Now, with her production company, Evil Hag Productions, she intends to make a family-friendly film that is something like Tim Burton meets Hocus Pocus.

While talking to GQ, Plaza said that she would like to “…fill the Tim Burton slot” by putting together her first directorial effort. The family-friendly affair is said to be a mix of Beetlejuice and Hocus Pocus.

Plaza can currently be seen in Evil Hag Production’s Emily the Criminal and on HBO’s White Lotus season 2.

We can’t wait to see what Plaza has to offer in her directorial efforts. It would be great to see her built a brand and aesthetic as awesome as Burton’s.

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M. Night Shyamalan’s ‘Knock at the Cabin’ Finds Danger Right Outside

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M. Night Shyamalan’s next film is already on its way. The ominous Knock at the Cabin is incredibly intriguing, especially since the first trailer gave away so little. The first poster for Knock at the Cabin is just as ominous as the teaser.

Shyamalan’s last film Old, played up the Twilight Zone like mystery and took it to Sci-Fi levels. Knock at the Cabin looks to trump that and move far into the horror/thriller genre.

The synopsis for Knock at the Cabin goes like this:

“While vacationing at a remote cabin, a young girl and her parents are taken hostage by four armed strangers who demand that the family make an unthinkable choice to avert the apocalypse. With limited access to the outside world, the family must decide what they believe before all is lost.”

Knock at the Cabin arrives in theaters beginning February 3.

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‘Cocaine Bear’ Gives Us One of the Wildest Posters of the Year

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Cocaine

Elizabeth Banks has decided to grace our eyeballs with one of the wildest titles, posters and film synopsis’ of the past decade. I’m of course talking about Cocaine Bear. This true story is one of those that you have to see to believe. But, the title is exactly what you think it is.

Kentucky 1985 was the time and place. A really unlucky bear ingested a lot of cocaine that was dropped in the woods by a smuggler. Unfortunately, the bear died from an overdose but not before going on a real rager beforehand.

Deadline’s synopsis for Cocaine Bear is as follows:

“The movie finds an oddball group of cops, criminals, tourists and teens converging in a Georgia forest where a 500- pound apex predator has ingested a staggering amount of cocaine and gone on a coke-fueled rampage for more blow … and blood.”

The film stars Keri Russell, Ray Liotta, Alden Ehrenreich, O’Shea Jackson and Jesse Tyler Ferguson.

Cocaine Bear comes raging into theaters February 24.

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