There’s been talk of a remake of 1980 horror classic The Changeling for quite some time now, but it’s moved one step forwards to becoming a reality this week with the announcement of a director in the form of Finnish filmmaker Anders Engström.
The story follows a composer who moves from New York to Seattle following the deaths of his wife and daughter in a traffic accident, renting a long-vacant Victorian mansion. Soon afterwards, he begins experiencing strange phenomena that lead him to suspect the house is haunted, while each occurrence pushes him further towards uncovering the mystery of what happened in the building a lifetime previously.
Engström is primarily a TV director, having helmed episodes of Hanna, the TV expansion of the movie of the same name about a teenage girl trained as an assassin by her ex-CIA father, The Tunnel, the UK/France remake of Swedish/Danish crime drama The Bridge, and See, a post-apocalyptic survival journey where all of humanity is blind. Back in Scandinavia, he also directed much of the first season of insidious Swedish thriller Jordskott, the crescendoing ominous atmosphere and increasing supernatural overtones of which match perfectly to what a new version of The Changeling would look like.
From what we understand, the remake will change things up a little, having the building the protagonist moves into being his childhood home, and so the mystery he investigates is directly connected to his hidden family history, making the sinister goings on that much more personal.
Changelings themselves originate in various branches of European folklore, where human babies are stolen away by the fae, leaving a fairy child in their place that takes on their appearance. While the original film doesn’t go quite this far in its use of the term, it’s nevertheless a sinister concept to invoke. It’s been promised that this new version of The Changeling will feature “several new twists and turns” as well, so hopefully it won’t be just another pointless remake and have something different to unnerve us as much as the original did.