Maybe I'm too practical to buy into evil alien invasion stories. I simply don't believe that there's some advanced species kicking around the galaxy with so little to do that they are busily scooping up humans and raping them. We're simply not that exciting.
And really. Seriously. Why would they want this planet out of every possible option out there. If I'm to believe that there are intelligent races out there, roaming through space, I also have to believe that there are planets far more interesting than our own. Our chunk of rock isn't really that impressive.
Tonight. I thought I'd try, again, to watch one and possibly - maybe - this time - learn to love abduction stories.
Here's what happened.After browsing Netflix for a bit, I picked Altered (2006). This direct to video gem is like the bastard child of I Spit On Your Grave & Fire In The Sky; a group of redneck hillbillies go on a hunting spree to get revenge on the aliens who abducted and tortured them.
Now, if that's not the set up for a bad joke, I'm not sure what is.
While not outright horrible, Altered is, somewhat uneven; there are some quality effects but, on the other hand, there was apparently a sale on rubber alien suits in late 2000 because they feature heavily in the movie. The dialog is occasionally juvenile, unintentionally hilarious, and then deadly serious and completely on target. The characters are marginally sympathetic but sometimes ridiculous, poorly acted caricatures.
The director Eduardo Sanchez (pardon my lack of "special characters!) is likely best known as, "the guy who directed The Blair Witch Project." but don't let that sour you. There's something kind of engaging about his style; he may show too much sometimes but he definitely makes some strong choices in how he portrays human emotion, particularly panic. And hysteria. And actually has a degree of subtly when handling "uneasy" situations. I'll give him credit for his ability to build tension and create a feeling of distrust in his audiences.
I also appreciate that his movies do't have happy endings. It's hard to imagine any horror movie scenario that would leave the survivors with any semblance of normalcy, comfort, or a shot at "being okay" ever again.
Wrap up time.
If you want a gruesomely good time with lovable hillbilly fighting monsters, try Tucker & Dale VS. Evil. If you want terrifying aliens murdering the shit out of hapless humans, try Alien. If you want an acceptable evening with a tolerable movie, Altered might just fit the bill.
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