REVIEW: The Changed (2021)

dir. Michael Mongillo.

Mac (Jason Allan Smith) and his partner Jane (Carlee Avers) are forced to hold up in their home when an alien virus starts taking control of their neighbourhood, and the world. Joined by the daughter of a family friend the couple end up taking creepy neighbour Bill (horror legend Tony Todd) hostage in their basement after he tries to attack them. But as they are slowly surrounded it leads the trio to have to decide: do they fight? Or become changed?

A sci-fi home invasion movie that takes aspects of The Purge and splices it with a Body Snatchers-style-takeover – giving the audience a feeling of isolation and a one-of-us mentality – should, on paper, be a ticket to success: but sadly the result here is an underwhelming slog, dragging a 30 minute plot over an 82 minute runtime.

From the odd editing choices to some wooden acting there are a lot of issues, though some positives still exist: the story is decent, comparisons to The Purge are a good thing and with a little time taken to really flesh out the characters – and the feeling of agony when the choice has to be made – this could have been a brilliant indie hit. However with several missteps, and a wasted opportunity to make the most of the iconic Todd, The Changed is sadly a let down.

Mark Goddard

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