Ahoy, squirts! Quint here with a review from the first ever test screening of Eduardo Sanchez's BLAIR WITCH follow-up, ALTERED. I spent a half a day on this set (report coming soon) and can vouche for the below review's story-line synopsis and Sanchez's desire to use predominantly practical effects. I've seen the nasty little bugger alien and it ain't pretty. I'm really looking forward to seeing Sanchez take a swing at a movie movie, not a faux-documentary style. It sounds like he did a good job. So, enjoy the review. It's fairly spoiler free as far as I can tell.
This is my first time writing in to you but I have been coming to your site since the beginning. The main reason that I have never written in is because I never had any intelligence to report before....UNTIL NOW.
Wednesday night I went to my first advance screening ever. I was lucky enough to be in the audience to see the first screening of Altered. It was directed by Eduardo Sanchez who has been missing since his directorial debut, The Blair Witch Project. Let me tell you, it was worth the wait. Well, I thought it was worth the wait. There was definitely some debate when it was over as to what people thought of it.
First of all, this is a very different movie from Blair Witch. Everything that the Witch movie didn't show, this one did. Some really cool special effects from the guys who did Hellboy and the new X-Men. The effects here seemed to be mostly practical and very little CGI. I thought that was great. It didn't look phoney like a lot of CG does.
The story goes something like this.
Three guys are in the woods hunting for something. Whatever it is it is a fast little shit. They manage to capture "the thing" but have no idea what to do with it. The big guy, Duke (Brad William Henke) decides that they need to get off the road and take it to their friend's Wyatt (Adam Kaufman, who after doing Steven Spielbeg's Taken, seems to be at home with this kind of material). They are not exactly welcome when they show up at Wyatt's house. This is where the majority of the rest of the film takes place. Wyatt has an auto garage on his place and has apparently holed up here away from the rest of society.
It turns out that Wyatt and his 3 visitors (the remaining two played by Michael C. Williams from Blair Witch and newcomer Paul McCarthy-Boyington) had been kidnapped 15 years earlier by some extraterrestrial friends, along with a 5th friend. Only 4 of them came back.
It also turns out that the bundle of love that Duke, Cody and Otis are carrying is one of the little bastards that took them away. The three had spent years in the field where they were abducted waiting for the creatures to return. Now they actually caught one.
I don't want to give away too much more of the story except to say there is a cool cameo by James Gammon, a great character actor and a scene involving some internal organs that won't easily be forgotten.
I thought that Altered moved along at a quick clip. In fact, I was surprised it ended as abruptly as it did. My only real criticism is that I might have drawn out the ending some so it didn't feel so rushed.
Other than that, I thought this was a fun ride. Cool creature effects and some nice acting for this type of movie. It sure beats the hell out of the current ride of lame remakes that seem to keep falling out of corporate assholes.
I look forward to seeing Altered again when it hits theaters.
If you use this, call me Milkbone.