Altered (2006, Eduardo Sanchez)

According to legend, two guys wrote and directed a found-footage horror movie in 1999 that went viral and grossed a zillion dollars… and the two guys were never heard from again. The studio botched a sequel the following year, and the market flooded with more found-footage horrors and Scream-influenced self-conscious horrors and combinations thereof.

But wait, Myrick surfaced in 2007 with a couple generic looking horrors, and Sanchez did likewise with Altered, which I belatedly discovered after enjoying his bicyclist-helmet-cam V/H/S/2 segment. Sure, this is a movie where a bunch of violent rural drunks capture an alien who then escapes and torments them, and one guy is over-secretive and has explanations that never properly make sense, and the alien looks like a green-rubber reptilian thing, but it’s kind of a good movie. The action is confusingly shot, but most of the movie is banter between frightened dudes, which Sanchez and cast are quite good at orchestrating.

L-R: Wyatt, Otis, Duke, Cody

Drunkenly hunting aliens: bulky Duke (Brad Henke of Palahniuk adaptation Choke), beardy Otis (original Blair Witch kid Michael C. Williams) and wild-eyed loose-cannon Cody (Paul McCarthy of Stuck, not this one, and Keyhole, not that one). They bring their captive to the hideout shack of their formerly-alien-abducted friend Wyatt (Adam Kaufman of alien-abduction miniseries Taken) while his girlfriend (Catherine Mangan of Monster) is over, and much backstory is gradually revealed while they argue, lose the alien, tie and tape up the girlfriend (who was only in the movie because somebody belatedly realized before filming that there were no women anywhere) and finally get hunted by their former captive while trying to act like nothing’s up when sheriff James Gammon (Paps in Cabin Boy, the coach in Major League) comes to visit. The alien kills the sheriff, pulls Otis’s guts out (the one scene I’m sure I’ll remember), and finally Wyatt is forced to use his Scanners powers to subdue it.


Wyatt vs. Alien scan-off:

Sanchez and cowriter Jamie Nash have a new bigfoot movie called Exists. Cinematographer Steve Yedlin did all the Rian Johnson movies including Looper and possibly an upcoming Star Wars.