Directed by: Eduardo Sanchez
RUNNING TIME- 88 minutes
Stars: Adam Kaufman, Catherine Mangan, and Misty Rosas
Of all the horror genres there are, science fiction, and I’m speaking of modern films, have been my least favorite. It has been a long while since I have seen any science fiction film, big budget or direct-to-video, that I have found to be worth viewing. A prime example is 2005’s “War Of the Worlds”, and not just because it stars Tom Cruise.
My long wait has finally ended, and it took one of the co-directors of “The Blair Witch Project” to do it. “Altered” is a refreshing, tense, teeth-gritting, wondering what’s going to happen next, experience. I found it to be the fastest 88 minutes I have lived thru.
We learn from viewing the film that fifteen years ago, five young boys were abducted by aliens. They were tested and probed. Three were immediately released. Two, Wyatt and Timmy, were kept. Without giving away any of the plot I will just tell you that Wyatt was released a few days later and Timmy wasn’t.
The film opens fifteen years later with the three who were first released hunting for aliens in the place that they were abducted in years ago. They have been doing this for seven years but this night, they catch one. They bring it to the home of Wyatt, who hasn’t seen or spoken to any of the other three since the incident. He has rebuilt his life, with his girlfriend Hope, in a bunker, stock piled with guns, grenades, etc. He obviously has been expecting a second visit and again without giving away plot, he has every reason to.
What happens when the three bring the alien to Wyatt’s turns into a gory game of cat and mouse between the four men, one woman and an Alien. There is plenty of blood and gore, but here it is not to disgust you, but a deeper look, maybe, as to what alien’s may do to a human if abducted. What they are probing for and why.
The stand-out of the film is the alien, played in a suit by Misty Rosas. Misty gave personality and life to “Amy” the gorilla in a great little film called “Congo”. The alien make-up is superb due to the artful way that Misty works the costume, along with the make-up effects here. We are not given a good view of the alien for awhile, and I became suspect that it was due to the alien looking cheesy, but I was deeply mistaken. The creation here is as scary, and probably as close to what a real alien may appear to be.
What Spielberg couldn’t do with $135 million, Sanchez does with just $8 million. Hollywood wants to know what ailing the movie industry? Here is the prime example. “Altered” gives everything that audiences want for less than the cost of having a “Tom Cruise” in your movie.