Writer/director/editor Don Swaynos’s Don’t Ever Change received a great deal of buzz on its film festival run this year, and for good reason. This deeply dark comedy features a superb job by its cast, and offers some unexpected twists, as well.
Karen (Cyndi Williams of You Are Your Body/You Are Not Your Body  and Holy Hell ) and her daughter Amy (Heather Kafka of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre  and Daylight’s End ) are having an uneasy reunion, and have much to talk about. Their discussions will need to wait, though, because journalist Jason (Frank Mosley of Upstream Color  and Don’t Look in the Basement 2 ) arrives to do an interview with Karen. She had been in prison for decades because of an infamous crime that she committed as a teenager, and Jason wants to discuss her future with her.
What Don Swaynos does with that premise is take his story to unexpected places, peopled with characters who have major issues. Cyndi Williams is terrific as a woman who is experiencing her first taste of freedom in more than four decades, but isn’t comfortable about meeting strangers yet. Frank Mosley is fantastic as Jason, who has ulterior motives for his visit. It wouldn’t be fair to reveal anything more about his character, but Mosley dives into things with relish and aplomb. These two actors play off of each other marvelously, giving Don’t Ever Change a huge amount of verve. Heather Kafka is also solid in her supporting role as a distanced daughter who is skeptical of her mother’s visitor.
Don Swaynos has a great deal of experience behind the camera and in front of it, and this background helps make Don’t Ever Change a high-energy, blood-spattered romp that fans of horror and horror comedies should find to be a lot of fun. Balancing humor with horror is no easy feat, but Swaynos does a fine job doing just that at the helm.
Don’t Ever Change made its online debut this week, so readers can watch the short right now.
(4 / 5)