Los Angeles, 1928. A single mother returns from work to find her nine-year-old son gone. She calls the LAPD to initiate a search.
Peter Medak's The Changeling is among a handful of films, including The Haunting (1963), Ghost Story (1981), and Lady in White (1988), that have successfully recreated the intimate, drawing-room atmosphere of supernatural horror fiction. After his wife and daughter are killed in a snowbound car accident, classical composer John Russell (George C. Scott) relocates from New York to Seattle to teach at his alma mater. Looking for a quiet place to rest and continue writing music, he is referred Claire Norman (Trish Van Devere) at the Seattle Historical Preservation Society. Claire shows John a large, sparsely furnished estate in the outlying countryside. He takes the house, appreciating its remoteness and the solitude it might afford, and diverts himself by renovating and settling in. He even starts to compose, putting aside his older work in favor of a new, sentimental piece for the piano. It is not long, however, before he begins having nightmares about the accident that killed his wife and daughter. Possibly because of this trauma, he is open to communications from the house's ghostly occupants.
The Changeling was Toyah's follow-up album to the critically acclaimed Anthem. Although it has a similar overall sound, the band's writing took a darker, almost gothic direction. Tracks such as "The Packt" and "Brave New World" take a rather dystopian although still hopeful view of the future, a theme which largely pervades the whole album. The Changeling was not released on CD until 1999, although this long-awaited release did at least include six bonus tracks, four of which were previously unavailable on CD.