SHIFTER (2019) Reviews and overview

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Shifter movie film sci-fi horror 2020 Poster

Shifter is a 2020 American science-fiction horror feature film about a young woman who experiences painful and gruesome side effects after an experiment with time travel goes wrong. She loses control and shifts through time at random.

Doing her best to keep her painful and gruesome problem a secret until she has it under control, she quickly realises that not only is she struggling to keep track of time, but that her body is also breaking down and growing weaker with each shift…

Written, directed, photographed and edited by Jacob Leighton Burns (as Jacob Burns) from a story co-written with Zachary Burns (as Zach Burns), the Planet Thunder Productions movie stars Nicole Fancher, Ashley Mandanas, Jamie Brewster and Leesa Neidel.

Shifter hypnotized me from the first frame,” Jonathan Barkan, the Horror Collective’s VP of acquisitions and distribution, said in a statement. “It’s daring, bold, and a stunning display of independent genre cinema pushing boundaries and telling captivating, engaging stories. I am so proud to have The Horror Collective’s name on this film and I look forward to sharing it with genre audiences.”


“Burns directs deftly, helming scenes of drama, horror, and quirky humor equally skillfully. His story plays out at a relaxed pace, never forcing any issues. His dialogue feels real, and the performances from his cast feel natural, other than a couple of overenthusiastic performances from supporting players.” Horror Fuel

“There are plot threads, mostly to do with the few people who intersect with Theresa’s life, but writer-director Jacob Leighton Burns stays with this shunted-aside-in-time iteration of the protagonist – Fancher is very good as an inexpressive character in an extreme situation – with the possibility that there are other incarnations having a better time as she loops in and out of her own timeline.” The Kim Newman Web Site

Shifter has a story that held my attention, moving from intriguing to downright chilling; it was delivered with patience and it had a believable cast of characters. As microbudget indie films go, that’s a win.” Ready Steady Cut!

“Unfortunately, Burns the co-screenwriter periodically fails Burns the director. Uneven execution undermines the combination of a convincing central performance, a possibility-rich premise, and inventive, imaginative visuals (Burns’ experience as a long-time cinematographer serves extremely him well here).” Screen Anarchy

” …here’s what happens when you blend awkward and quirky comedy with lo-fi science fiction – and the result is actually rather unique, pretty weird but in its own way also compelling. And it’s compelling rather paradoxically because it doesn’t try to be, as the film despite its sci-fi theme tells its story very matter-of-factly with little in terms of spectacle, but very natural performances…” Search My Trash

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Shifter was released by The Horror Collective (Two Heads Creek; Diablo Rojo PTY) on VOD and On-Demand on August 6, 2020.

Cast and characters:

Nicole Fancher … Theresa Chaney
Ashley Mandanas … Blake Douglass
Jamie Brewster … Martha Ellis
Leesa Neidel … Felicia Sheldon
Stephen Goodman … Curtis Mathers
Paul T. Taylor … Ed Campbell
Ben Hall … Owen Chaney
Jacob Ryan Snovel … Sam Snovel
Derrico Thomas … Seth Price
Katy Atkinson … Rachel Sawyer
Rick Holmes … Doctor Holmes
Cora Martin … Little Girl
Heather Siess … 1960s Ma
Clint Joseph … 1960s Pa
Ella Perdue … 1960s Little Girl

Filming locations:

Oklahoma City, Oklahoma


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