Altered Review

Altered (2006)

Starring: Adam Kaufman, Catherine Mangan, Brad William Henke
Directed by: Eduardo Sanchez

So, how did you feel about Signs?

Personally, I wasn't all that impressed. I wasn't impressed by the story. I wasn't impressed by the "twist". I wasn't impressed by the alien. Enter Altered. This movie may have revitalized my expectations in close encounter genre horror films because...well, read on and find out.

In Altered, after a shared, life changing occurrence 15 years ago, a group of four will come back together for one more night of terror.

I have to say, right from the beginning, Altered is a fun ride. It throws you into a situation years into the making when three of the four good ol' boys are out in the swamp chasing aliens, the creatures that screwed up their lives over a decade before. With the help of bear traps, shotguns and a badass harpoon gun, they catch one and bring it to the final friend, Wyatt, the one who has apparently had a closer encounter than the rest of the crew. I loved how this movie paced the action and the drama as even when it seems nothing is going on, in reality there always is.

There is a nice diversity between the characters, as even though they all seem to be more or less backwoods, they are all different significantly. Duke is the headstrong one, seemingly in charge, Cody is the brash asshole of the group, Otis is somewhat of a coward and Wyatt has definitely been traumatized the most, even though early on you find out Cody lost his brother during that first encounter 15 years ago.

I really liked the alien in this film. Though it was of the usual humanoid type and somewhat reminded me of the one from Signs, it was a lot more aggressive and dangerous. This creature was more interesting chained and taped to a table than the hydrophobic monster from the M. Knight Shama-shitfest. And besides being a physical threat, it also had some mental abilities, which it uses a few times.

The dramatic tension in Altered was one for the books, in my opinion. First, between the friends there is a lot of in-fighting, but when the lights go out, things get kicked up a notch. This leads to the film having an overall great atmosphere, which I can honestly say goes unmatched by most other modern films of its ilk.

In regards to special effects, Altered does very well. There is little CG and quite a few good practical effects: the bear trap damage Duke suffers from the beginning of the movie, Cody's infection from a bite wound and in one particular scene, a character has his intestines stretched across the room and slowly pulled out. I, personally, was pleased with how this movie presented these things.

I have to say, Altered is definitely worth purchasing. I've read reviews (or more so, YouTube comments) claiming this movie was simply "okay" or "decent", but compared to other modern movies of the same variety, it's fucking fantastic and worth the hour and a half of your life.




Special Effects

Overall Rating: Multiple Stab Wounds

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