AlteredThree rednecks head into the back country intent on catching an alien. As they blunder about the woods heavily armed, they come across the alien they were in search of. Finally catching their prey, they tie him up, throw him in the van and start to head back to town. In fear of being followed, Redneck Ringleader Duke (Brad William Henke) commands the driver Otis (Michael C. Williams) to veer off onto a dirt road. Knowing not what to do, they head for the closest thing they have to an alien expert, Wyatt (Adam Kaufman), the local alien conspiracy nut hiding off in the deep country. As the plot unfolds we realize that there is a history here involving said aliens and said rednecks, and soon our mulletted heroes are setting off to save the world from annihilation.

The first post Blair Witch project for director Eduardo Sanchez, Altered veers far far away from the spooky mockumentary of Blair Witch, and aims for the loftier realms of horror in an alien monster mash. Relatively unheard of, Altered snuck in under the radar to rest firmly on the shelf of your local Blockbuster. Sanchez’s first effort has both it’s lovers and haters, so many may look at this flick with mixed emotions and expectations held in check. Fortunately, the effort turns out solid, and successfully shows that Sanchez has what it takes for a ‘regular’ movie. (as opposed to Blair Witches false presentations, and mockumentary feel)

Altered is a creature feature plain and simple. Concentrating solely on the solitary alien captured at the beginning of the flick, we spend the entire time focused on our group of bumbling rednecks trying to figure out what to do with their captive. Encompassing one long night of fear, tension, and blood, we are given a tale of just what Joe Average may go through, should they find themselves in the same situation. Filled with many a jump scare as any creature feature should be, and plenty of goo piled on top, Altered shows it’s true colors as a fun little flick that will keep you glued to your seat, and perhaps biting your nails from time to time.

As the movie begins to role, we’re left with quite a bit of confusion. Why do these yokels think there are aliens in the woods? Where did they get these improvised weapons? What’s up with Wyatt the paranoid recluse with the cold sweats and staring out the windows in the middle of the night? An immediate turn off for some, it pays off eventually for those brave enough to endure the first thirty minutes or so. With a fine story telling touch, we are given confusion and action to catch our attention to kick things off. Once your hooked and wondering just what the hell these folks are up too, they start to give you tiny nuggets spread throughout the film that fills in the back story. A fine touch of baiting the viewer and keeping the around, the story elements of Altered are one of the key elements that made this one enjoyable to me, and helps to give us a rather full sci fi monster mash that’s more than just a boogey man destroying shit because he can.

Effects wise, Altered is nothing to write home to mom about. Fairly average, perhaps a little over the top for some, the alien getup is an exaggerated take on the typical ‘grey’ mythos. Paint him green, throw in some fangs and extra gooey bits, and you have yourself an altered alien. Where some of the effects shine however is in the death and destruction brought on by our little green fiend. From the disemboweling of Otis, to the results of the skin eating virus tearing through Cody, there is some top notch gore thrown in here, and for those fans of that, you’ll enjoy this angle quite a bit.

Not a blockbuster by any means nor a steaming pile, Altered is a fun monster mash filled with a few jumps, a good story, and some decent gore. For many of the horror flicks that have hit the shelves as of late, Altered stands above the rest. The key to enjoyment here is in the story. Nothing mind blow mind you, but fun none the less, and a slightly different take on the typical abduction scare. Give it a watch!

3.5 little green men out of 5

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