“The Changeling” is a powerful mystery thriller about the loss of a child.

Changeling premiered on Apple TV+ on September 8th. The first three episodes are fun and make you look forward to new episodes.

The project is based on the novel of the same name by the American writer Victor Laval. The showrunner is Kelly Marcel, known as the screenwriter of the three parts “Venom” and “50 Shades of Grey”. Starring LaKeith Stanfield (Atlanta) and Clark Bako (The Handmaid’s Tale).

Apollo is a rare book dealer in New York. He has a child with his beloved librarian Emma. However, parents are plagued by postpartum depression and doubts about the correctness of their decision. Emma begins to suspect that her son is not human. Gradually, Apollo realizes that his current problems are closely related to his childhood, particularly the mysterious disappearance of his father.

What’s good about the Changeling series?

Brilliant interpretations of old stories

Changelings in various forms are one of the scariest parts of European folklore. On average, the story went like this: Some mystical creatures steal a baby and leave in its place either a doll or a copy without a soul. After a while, the changeling died and the parents believed that their child was alive and simply took him with them. It is now generally accepted that these legends are due to high child mortality – in fact, this is a consolation for the mother.

The novel (and therefore the series) contains these stories. Furthermore, he weaves them into the modern world. The death of a child is too shocking an event that forces a person to look for alternative versions of what happened. The conclusion that the heroes of the project make is quite strange, so the viewer does not understand whether what is happening on the screen is a consequence of the psychological disorder of the heroes or whether they are being shown a supernatural story. It’s this feeling that makes the show most interesting – it can easily be interpreted in different ways.

Encyclopedia of Parental Fears

“The Changeling” juggles the fears of parents quite bravely. Only a minimal amount of time can pass from the fear that the child is not his own child to the feeling that his life is in danger. Not to mention the paranoia or shame of the mother who doubted whether she loved her own son. It’s rare for TV series to tackle these topics, and so “Changeling” stands out from the crowd.

Still from the series “Changeling”

At the same time, the project is reminiscent of classic horror films about parental problems – certain scenes are reminiscent of the films Rosemary’s Baby and The Omen. Despite the abundance of mystery, “The Changeling” foregoes jump scares and focuses more on post-horror.

Strong emotional contrasts

“Changeling” constantly switches between different modes in the first few episodes. A warm and very pleasant scene can coexist with a scary and repulsive scene, and in both cases the execution is excellent. For example, the transformation of love for a child into hate is demonstrated not only using lines, but also through changes in camera angles, lighting, and music. And that just increases the emotionality.

Of course, actors play a big role in the perception of history. Above all, Clarke Bako, who transforms from a loving mother into a suicidal psychopath in the blink of an eye. She’s great in warm scenes too – Bako gives the series something good but then ruins it. LaKeith Stanfield brings nerve and a bit of naivety to the story. Later it becomes clear that he is not so easy when his life is overshadowed by tragedy.

What potential problems are there with the Changeling series?

The questionable part of the series (the first three episodes to be precise) seems to be the supernatural side. Where mysticism does not show itself, it is terribly frightening – for example, when it becomes clear that there are evil forces, but they are not shown. But the clearer the supernatural (in the footage with the witch), the less frightening it is. Here we can draw parallels with Rosemary’s Baby, where the suspicion of mysticism is more frightening than its manifestation. Considering that the hero is looking for a solution, we can assume that there will be more details in the next episodes and it is not a fact that this will benefit the series.

Another potential problem is time jumps. Episodes from the protagonist’s childhood appear regularly on the screen. And there’s a lot of evidence that flashbacks won’t provide many answers in the future, instead taking up the majority of screen time – something similar happened in the second episode. But perhaps in the future such scenes will complement the story rather than obscure it.

Still from the series “Changeling”

“The Changeling” is one of the most ambitious premieres of the fall. This is a spooky, edgy, and eventful series that you’ll definitely want to watch in its entirety. We can only hope that the entire season will be as bright as the first three episodes.

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DevanCole is a Dailynationtoday U.S. News Reporter based in London. His focus is on U.S. politics and the environment. He has covered climate change extensively, as well as healthcare and crime. DevanCole joined Dailynationtoday in 2021 from the Daily Express and previously worked for Chemist and Druggist and the Jewish Chronicle. He is a graduate of Cambridge University. Languages: English. You can get in touch with me by emailing: devancole@dailynationtoday.com.

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