The Changed (2021)

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The Changed (2021). The Changed: Directed by Michael Mongillo. With Clare Foley, Tony Todd, Jason Alan Smith, Carlee Avers. A group of ordinary people band together in a suburban home to battle imposters who have replaced their families, friends, and neighbors.

“SEEN AT SCREAMFEST 2021, LOS ANGELESu003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003eWhile many directors play it safe by giving us films that contain similar aspects (particularly in big budget films), Michael Mongillou0026#39;s films over the past 20 years have proven to each be a different beast, making each one a new idea. The Changed is a welcome addition to that line. Though people will make comparisons to Invasion Of The Body Snatchers and countless other films in that style, Mongillo does a nice approach of paring things down and making it more personal by containing most of the story in a home, creating claustrophobia, which helps build the story and ratchet up the tension to such a level that the viewers will feel their own fear and dread. This is a fresh approach to the home seige scenario. While other reviews are more specific in revealing the specifics, Iu0026#39;m going to hold back just enough to let the surprises pull you in when you view it.u003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003eThe introductions to the three main characters is conceptually fascinating. Mac, Jane, and Kim are each first seen center positioned in their frame, with another character entering and ever so slightly igniting your suspicions as the three are also realizing something has been subtly going on for nearly a month by then.u003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003eKim (Clare Foley of SINISTER) conveys a believable sense of loss even before her suspicions of things going awry are validated. Coming from a troubled home life and socially awkward situation of lack of friends, her already existing helplessness either has her able to keep her sanity or slowly just letting go and giving in to the threat. It keeps you wondering, and worrying for her. Married couple Mac and Jane (Jason Alan Smith and Carlee Avers, reunited from Mongillou0026#39;s DIANE) each experience increasing strangeness from co-workers, as well as a bizarre morning chat between Mac and neighbor Bill (Tony Todd of another claustrophobic horror NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD – 1990). When new neighbor Sara jogs by (Olivia Freer) and stops to chat with Bill as heu0026#39;s leaving, her glances over at Mac made the hairs on the back of my neck stand up. While that wasnu0026#39;t horrifying, my body told me this was going to get weird. Janeu0026#39;s experience at work escalates quickly, then the nightmare truly begins.u003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003eWhile the three converge at Mac and Janeu0026#39;s home, Kimu0026#39;s gruff uncle Kurt (Doug Tompos) arrives and adds to the tension thatu0026#39;s already strong. As the threat of something taking over the population closes in on the four trapped in the house, with Bill and Sara equally being representatives — ambassadors? — of the Change and seductively trying to convince the four that this new consciousness is the best for all. Is it a virus? Is it aliens? Is it a cult of mass brainwashing?u003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003eTHE CHANGED doesnu0026#39;t try to wow you with big nor gooey CGI special effects and big shiny Hollywood antics. Mongillou0026#39;s approach is more direct, with dialogue that keeps you paying attention and keeping you on edge as things start snowballing, which is basically right away and just keeps getting more intense as it goes along. Thatu0026#39;s quite a feat, and a film that will linger in your mind. As Michael Mongillo creates more films, it will be interesting to see which different beast (or u0026quot;Michael Mongillo Conspiracyu0026quot;) comes next. Iu0026#39;ll be looking forward to owning one on disc in the future for my special collection.u003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003eu0026quot;Nothing in lie thatu0026#39;s worthwhile is easy. It is the struggle and the fight that makes us who we are.u0026quot;”

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