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They will find you...
It’s been a while (1999 that is) since the Blair Witch Project hit the scene, whooped that ass and took names. Although one half of the directing duo behind that monster hit,
Dan Myrick has toyed with a couple of projects since (The Strand was released while Believers and Solstice are on the way), co-creator
Ed Sanchez had been shamefully missing in action…until now.
Having now escaped from the POW camp he’s been hiding in, Sanchez returns to the screen and with some heavy artillery at that! Say "what the f*ck's up" to ALTERED! A fairly old school and minimalist take on the “evil alien” subgenre but with a potent reversal of fortune loaded in its chamber. In the world I live in, its usually outer space buggers doing the abducting and the anal probing in films (I’ll never know “why” now will I?). But in this war-zone, it was the opposite with the humans snatching an alien for a good old fashion order of grilling with a side order of payback. That sly spin on the usual conventions made way for a compelling chain of events, one that I had trouble predicting along the way. Always good shite to me!
I so dug as to how this flick started strong right off the bat and didn’t let up till the end credits. I was actually worried for a while there as I didn’t think the narrative would be able to sustain its “momentum heavy” forward drive demeanor throughout. Well color me back-handed and call me Tracy cause yes, the flick had the skills, the inventiveness and the meat to keep one-upping itself till the end. Every time I thought all was well in “Graceland”, the flick would machine-gun yet another obstacle/ordeal my way, hence keeping me on my toes, dancing like a stripper standing on sizzling charcoal… whatever the f*ck that really means. It should be blabbed that the characters, although “white trash stereotypical” and cussing like sailors on leave (nothing wrong with that I like cussing…F*CK!) definitely helped in keeping in the loop. I truly boogied to their interaction, the tension in some of the relationships and their overall group chemistry.
Finally, hip-hip-hurray to the impressive visuals effects that were on display here. The alien looked pretty damn real to me, even when showed under bright lights. Props to the designers for coming up with a simple yet effective concoction and hookers and beers to the actor in the suit who brought a gripping physicality to the entity in question. And the same went for the red grub dripping off this one’s walls. The movie was pretty nasty with that decomposing duder and the intestine out of one’s stomach gag being my highlights! Tag to all that a tantalizing subplot about one of the abductees being “different”, visuals dipped in bleakness and oppressiveness and an efficient knack at suggesting rather than showing, resulting in a total head-lock and you get one worth the sparring match!
On the bummer dude side of things, for some odd reason tension was painfully lacking here and I don’t get it! This kind of scenario should spell breast chewing suspense, but alas I felt none of that sweet juice here. Then there was the “alteration” subplot that was intriguing no doubt but imminently too freaking vague and not explored enough to bring it all home with gusto and satisfy my sorry ass. I kept waiting for the other shoe to drop in that regards, all I got was dangling laces. Finally, the acting/dialogue was a pinch off at times, nothing critical or/and worth jumping out a high rise window for, but the occasional bad lines matched with the so-so deliveries grated my one functional ear to near deafness.
When all was signed, sealed and abducted though, ALTERED was a creepy, involving, somewhat original and definitely easy watch. I watched this puppy 5 minutes after waking up at 7 in the morning and I was hooked right away and not once did I feel the urge to return to “Sheep Land” . It made for a swell way to start yet another vacuous, work filled, bullshit laced day. Hope it does the same for you if you abduct it at the DVD store! PHONE HOME! (lame I know but I had to…)