Director (and co-writer): Adrian Konstant
Cast: Michael Wurtz, Derek Lackenbauer, Victoria Dunsmore, Brian Otto, Alyssa Anne Blasak, Zach Parsons
Murderous creatures roam the streets bringing certain death. Neighbors trapped inside a house with one killing the others. A monster inside and monsters outside. Who will save you when the world has Shifted? – IMDB
Creatures, zombies, shifted humans: Call it whatever you like for Shifted but we’ve basically seen horror films like this or a familiar style of being stuck in one setting like one of the most popular examples, Dawn of the Dead or The Mist, granted they are stuck in malls and this one is being stuck in a house. Its always a little nervous getting into films like these because its always a question of how they can spin it in a different way. Shifted definitely does do that since its story isn’t purely a zombie/creature film but rather its also a whodunnit mystery. The two storylines do crossover with each other pretty good.
A great part of what makes Shifted work is also the cinematography. While its only set in one location in the house and its vicinity, the camera work manages to make this space come alive along with the people in it. It also manages to use the calmness and silence to create a sense of isolation. A feeling that perhaps is the most connected to the story as a house full of mostly strangers have to help each other out as they can’t quite figure out whether to leave or to stay as their rations dwindle and actual strangers end up there.
The execution for Shifted is good as well. For one, it has a little fragmented storyline style as the present story moves along while it has scenes in between which shows how each person ended up at the house together. Its clever since the little snippet gives a good idea of who is connected previously and also those with their dilemma. There is no beginning of how the “shift” started but they also try to deduce their commonalities that they didn’t change. As much as the discussion about leaving is a big topic in the story, its also about the change in dynamic when two strangers end up in the house and deaths start to happen.
That leads us to the cast. Honestly, the cast is pretty decent with a few standout like stranger #1 Bill Winters played by Michael Wurtz who is hands-down the best character in the story from his wandering outside to his arrival to the house. Another one of the characters played by Zach Parsons is also a decent character as well. There are a few iffy characters but it has to do with their character design, but it all comes together when the dilemmas start to surface and the deaths start to happen.
Overall, Shifted is a pretty great premise. Sure, the zombie genre is done to death but Shifted is a bit reminiscent of it but has its own creature design, one that almost feels like its infested by some kind of parasite perhaps an alien. We never quite know what it is but the creature design is pretty cool, other than some dodgy effects when the “parasite” is in action. The whodunnit has enough space to breath and build and everything does make sense as the finale drops the big reveal. Its a solid one-setting horror film about a world that has now mostly shifted. It reminds me a bit of the concept behind South Korean Netflix series Sweet Home but with a little less depth on the creature.
***Shifted is part of the Blood in the Snow Film Festival and will show on November 24th on Super Channel at 12am EST.***
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