Well, That Escalated Quickly – Altered (2006)

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Upon receiving a recommendation from Julian of Dirty with Class fame, I turned on a nice little horror flick, Altered, last night. Long story short, I loved it. I didn’t even know until the end credits rolled, but Eduardo Sanchez (The Blair Witch Project, Lovely Molly) directed this, so there’s no wonder it ended with me being impressed. It’s a simple movie with a very straight-forward premise, and it hits just about everything it swings at.

Four estranged friends find themselves together again as an alien presence that abducted them fifteen years ago is back; only this time, the tables have turned. Well, sort of, at least. Since they were all taken into the sky by aliens once before, they feel it’s only right to return the favor. So, when they spot a lone alien in the woods, three of them go after it with (yee-haw) guns and, um, other weapons.

Weapons you have to hand-crank aside, the friends get the better of the alien and end up capturing it. They take it to a long-lost buddy of theirs, Wyatt, who knows all-too-well what these creatures are capable of. From here on out, it’s a battle between a single, captive alien and a bunch of rednecks.

If you just got finished laughing at that last sentence, it’s cool. Just don’t let it happen again. Altered could have easily devolved into stupid humor and stereotypical behavior, but it mostly stays away from the temptation. The singular exception I can think of is the character of Cody, who’s just a sack of shit good ol’ boy. He deserves anything and everything coming to him, but I will say he has one of the best scenes in the movie later on.

Altered is a tense movie, as everything takes place inside a dude’s garage and tiny house. They initially have the creature strapped down to a table, but of course, things don’t all go as planned, and they have to fight to survive their encounter with the alien asshole. I think all little green men are assholes, actually. All they ever do is stick probes and transmitters inside our bodies and act like they’re doing legitimate research. I’m on to their shit.

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Despite the lower budget, Altered gets one thing very right: the alien itself. Its face has some CGI going on (I think?), but overall, the alien seems like a guy in a suit and makeup. I don’t say that because it’s obviously shitty looking; rather, it just makes me happy to see good practical effects being used alongside CGI. And one of the absolute best scenes in the movie involves some great use of real-world effects.

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There’s not much else to say about Altered, save for my opinion that you should see it when you get the chance. The scenario is tailor-made for suspense, and it delivers on that front. The creature itself is used to good effect, which means it’s not over-used. That little bastard takes a lickin’ and keeps on tickin’, though. But who will win the day? You’ll have to turn on Netflix and watch Altered to find out.

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About Sir Phobos

Male, 30-something, hates stupid things and likes non-stupid things
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9 Responses to Well, That Escalated Quickly – Altered (2006)

  1. theipc says:

    I remember liking this movie – I need to give it another watch. Well done, sir. Well done.

  2. mhuard5 says:

    I’ve been looking for a good random movie to check out. I might give this one a look, even if I’m not all that into horror/scary movies.

  3. Victor De Leon says:

    Caught this on Netflix about a hundred years ago and I dug it. I totally forgot it though. Need to see it again. Good review. I like Sanchez and I recall the movie having some suspenseful moments. Isn’t this the one that has some lady in a bathroom infected or something like that? Crap, I’m drawing a blank…

    • Sir Phobos says:

      There’s a guy in a bathtub who’s infected, and a girlfriend that gets tied to the bed at one point. Yea, it’s a good flick. I like Sanchez a lot, too. He doesn’t get talked about enough.

  4. Victor De Leon says:

    I may be thinking of “Splintered” My bad.

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