Movie: The Life Changer
My Rating: 3 stars
This movie treads well-worn ground—a horror story about body-snatchers, here to steal people’s forms and trick their loved ones. There are a million of them out there. But, somehow this film makes the whole concept feel fresh. And, I think it’s because the movie doesn’t give us too much information right away. It doles out details in drips. And, the audience has to watch a cycle or two before we figure out what’s going on in the story, who’s who, and just what exactly we’re looking at as the “process” unfolds. And, being put it the disorienting position of trying to figure things out engages the viewer right away.
But, this movie has even more going for it than that. I think the best part is that the story of this life-stealing monster is told from the point of view of the body-snatcher him/herself. This makes them the protagonist of the story, and the character that the audience identifies with most. And, that’s a very interesting angle from which to view this tale. Audiences are accustomed to seeing the body-snatcher as the bad guy—as an evil monster that’s out to “get” us, (whatever that means). But, what if the creature is just doing what they must to stay alive, and avoid being caught and killed by the authorities? It’s actually a pretty sympathetic position, and I bet you’ll find yourself rooting for our creature to get away, even as we watch him/her sucking the life out of innocent people, left and right. So, I think that while this is definitely a monster movie, I wouldn’t call it a horror story. It’s really much more of a drama about one being’s futile attempts to find a place in this world. I usually hate dramas, finding them boring and predictable. But, the context of this one provided enough mystery and tension to keep the story exciting for me.
This is a very strange movie, and it put me in a very thoughtful mood. I guess that means I liked it. It feels very small and contained, but it has a lot to say about the human condition. So, I guess I would recommend it to people (maybe even to a wider audience than usual), as long as they won’t be put off by a moderate amount of body horror. (There are some gross bits, but they’re not the point of the story).