The Changed (2021) poster

The Changed (2021)


USA. 2021.


Director/Screenplay – Michael Mongillo, Screenplay – Michael Mongillo with Matt Giannini, Producers – Eloise Asmuth, Erik Bloomquist & Taylor Warren, Photography – R.J. LaRussa, Music – Len Miller, Visual Effects – Ulysses Argeta, Cyntia Buell & Earl Tornawry, Makeup Effects – Mercedes McCoy, Art Direction – Suzanne M. Marquis. Production Company – Mean Time Productions.


Jason Alan Smith (Mac), Clare Foley (Kim), Tony Todd (Bill), Carlee Avers (Jane), Doug Tompos (Kurt), Olivia Freer (Sara Pulaski), Ryan Barry McCarthy (Ethan), Nina Wisner (Skye), Kathy Searle (Katie Walters)


Mac confides in his neighbour Bill that he thinks people around the neighbourhood are acting strangely but Bill dismisses the idea. Mac’s wife Jane returns home from the hospital where she works after a co-worker tried to forcibly kiss her. After Bill bursts into the house and tries to attack them, Mac, Jane and the neighbouring teenager Kim make him prisoner. Tied up in the cellar, Bill admits he is one of the changed and promises a great transformation and peace if only they will let him kiss them. Meanwhile, the changed surround the house, wanting everyone to come out and surrender to them.

The Changed was the fourth film of Connecticut-based filmmaker Michal Mongillo. Mongillo had previously directed other genre works such as The Wind (2001), Welcome to Earth (2005) and Diane (2017), as well as the non-genre mockumentary Being Michael Madsen (2007). The film is produced by Erik Bloomquist, the director of Ten Minutes to Midnight (2020) and Night at the Eagle Inn (2021).

The Changed is a body snatchers film. This is a genre that emerged in the 1950s where aliens (usually) take over or duplicate human beings in exact detail all except for the emotions. Examples from this period include It Came from Outer Space (1953), Invaders from Mars (1953), I Married a Monster from Outer Space (1958) and the all-time classic Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956). Most of these have been remade since then and there have been various other offerings – I have a detailed listing of them here at Body Snatchers.

Tony Todd imprisoned in the cellar with Doug Tompos in The Changed (2021)
(l to r) Doug Tompos confronts a changed Tony Todd imprisoned in the cellar

The Changed is a body snatchers film with low horizons. All of it takes place in a small neighbourhood and never much more than one street, while most of what happens is confined inside a single family home and its basement. Rather than any pods and transformation effects, the entire bodily transformation of a person economically takes place with a kiss. It is never actually explained where The Changed come from – whether they are aliens or what.

The Changed is an okay film but it never quite works. Most of the abovementioned body snatchers films take place amid much shadowy tension but there is none of the crucial sense of paranoia present here. Michael Mongillo’s direction is ordinary and takes place in daylight with everyday lighting schemes. The cast are passable for the roles – in particular Clare Foy and genre regular Tony Todd who seems to be having a field day with the role of the changed prisoner in the cellar.

Trailer here

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