[Review] Brian Hewitt's 'Transformation' Is A Fine First Draft, But Could Use A Real Transformation

Updated: Mar 6

As a string of murders plagues Syracuse, New York, killer David (Brian Hewitt, who also wrote and directed the film) juggles his troubled past with keeping up appearances, all while satiating the mysterious Malachi (Wayne W. Johnson). The troubled Detective Nardello (Jack Gargaro) and his colleagues are on the hunt for the slasher, though Nardello has his own demons to control. As the titular transformation sets in, will David’s woman-hating ways continue to evade capture? Or will Nardello and Co. get their man as the body count rises?

As awesome as the cover art for the film may be, Transformation missed the mark for me. The high points for me were the sound design and the interpolation of the menacing Malachi, and even then those weren’t terribly great. Nobody’s perfect, sure, but a couple of choices for music cues had me unsettled in a bad way, and that’s not good for what is billed as a horror / “chilling thriller.” And while Wayne W. Johnson certainly looks the part, as the sort of Hyde to David’s Jekyll, his acting is sometimes a bit too much.

The film runs nearly two hours (122 minutes including credits), and it feels long in the tooth at about an hour in. The subplots feel disjointed and generally unsatisfying, and after a while, they begin to feel like filler. It makes me wonder if there was more content that was cut from the original cut of the film, or if the ideas posed in these B stories really were as half-baked as they play out. It gets to the point of overdone and drawn out, and frankly, if I weren’t watching this film for review, I don’t know that I would have sat through the whole ordeal.

Points for effort, sure, but Transformation needs some reworking. I really do think there’s something to the story. With the right editing of the script and perhaps an updated soundtrack, this film could be something. In its current form, though, I was not a fan.

Transformation is now available on DVD from Fiendish Films.


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