Altered (2006) – USA / R / 88 min / 5.7 IMDB / IMDB rank 7,129
By Roger Malcolm / Oct. 2012
Eduardo Sánchez, one-half of the geniuses that brought us The Blair Witch Project, returns on story and directing responsibilities with Altered. A story about childhood friends who have shared a life-altering experience 15 years ago. Three of them manage to track down and capture one of the creatures responsible. With revenge in their sights for losing one of their friends all those years back they have only made a more severe mistake than any of them could have anticipated.
The cast consists of lesser-known actors; however, we are treated to a solid performance by Adam Kaufman as Wyatt – a Jake Gyllenhaal look-alike taking the lead. He possesses abilities the others lack making him both an asset and liability to the group. Also in this cast is Blair Witch Project’s Mike (Michael C. Williams), playing likable coward Otis, along with a strong aggressive performance by Paul McCarthy-Boyington as Cody. Paul is actor David Patrick Kelly’s (Warriors, come out to play-i-ay.) doppelganger. Though the real treat is veteran actor James Gammon as the Sheriff.
The story is full of mystery and suspense all the way to the end. Make-up and special effects that will make you squirm in your seat. A chilling atmosphere that sticks with you and locales of dark green foggy forests for a truly well-done low-budget science fiction horror flick.
Sure you can complain about some of the writing, acting and even the “WHY WOULD YOU DO THAT?!” moments but it’s a horror film and it delivers the horrors. If watching a guy’s intestines being dragged out of him isn’t horrifying to you, then perhaps the flesh-eating disease will get under yours.
Altered is a sleeper film waiting to be rediscovered in much the same way as John Carpenter’s The Thing.
Best Death – After the sheriff has been attacked by the creature, Wyatt tells him he is going to get him some help. Sheriff Henderson replies “Fuck that. Get me a beer”. There are more exciting deaths. This one is just smooth and well-played.
Best Scene – After becoming infected with an extremely convincing flesh-deteriorating disease, a character is controlled telepathically. As the character attacks we find out that his insides are rotting as his arms break easily each time he makes contact with an object. It’s a gruesome scene where the make-up and special effects match the gut-wrenching sound effects.