Erana James and Benji Purchase in "The Changeover" (Vertical Entertainment)

New Zealand Thriller ‘The Changeover’ Weaves Its Cinematic Spell In February

Here’s the interesting thing about The Changeover, a New Zealand set thriller which, at the time of posting, has a 100% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. The lead actress, Erana James, is an up and comer whose career should gain more momentum with its February 22nd release in theaters and On Demand. It was released back in New Zealand 2017, and it also co-stars Thomasin McKenzie (from last year’s critically acclaimed Leave No Trace).

Erana James and Timothy Spall in “The Changeover.” (Vertical Entertainment)

The Changeover centers on Laura Chant (Erana James), a 16-year-old who lives with her mom (Melanie Lynskey, so good in I Don’t Feel At Home In This World Anymore) and four-year-old brother Jacko (Benji Purchase) in a lower middle class section of Christchurch, New Zealand. Timothy Spall (Wormtail from the Harry Potter films) is Carmody Braque, a seemingly malevolent man who is focused on draining the life out of Jacko. Laura is one step away from becoming a powerful witch, and it’s up to her to find a way to save her brother and transition to a new forceful (and possibly tragic) chapter in her life. The project, co-starring Lucy Lawless (Battlestar Galactica, Salem), is based on the Carnegie Medal winning book by Margaret Mahy.

As for Thomasin McKenzie, she has a minor role in the film which is actually directed by her parents Stuart McKenzie and Miranda Harcourt (McKenzie penned the screenplay). It was easy to tell that Thomasin was a star in the making from the first moments of Leave No Trace, and one wonders if Erana James will also make a successful transition to U.S. based cinema. I’ll be checking out the movie very soon and posting a review down the road and possibly discussing the feature on CinemAddicts with Anderson.

Check out the trailer below and tell us what you think!!

The Changeover hits theaters and On Demand February 22nd via Vertical Entertainment.

Greg Srisavasdi

I've been a movie reviewer/interview since 1991 (as a UCLA Daily Bruin scribe), worked at Westwood One, Deepest Dream owner, co-editor of Hollywood Outbreak, podcast co-host of "CinemAddicts" and "Matt and Greg Used To Interview Movie Stars." I can be reached at for inquiries or whatever the case may be!

Greg Srisavasdi has 1353 posts and counting. See all posts by Greg Srisavasdi

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