Altered States movie review

Altered States movie credits:

Directed by: Ken Russell

Written by: Paddy Chayefsky

William Hurt (Eddie Jessup)
Blair Brown (Emily Jessup)
Bob Balaban (Arthur Rosenberg)

Release date: 1980

Spoiler alert: some crucial elements of the movie are commented in the following review. Be warned!

My bloody rating:

Altered States movie review

My review:

A researcher is using an isolation chamber to test different states of consciousness using himself as the subject. Throughout his experiment, he will experience various hallucination loaded with strong imagery and real physical changes.

Needless to say that the plot is straightforward and not quite important here! “Altered States” is really a movie about reaching high levels of consciousness that no other man has ever reached before.

Altered states movie Altered states movie
Screenshots from trailer – Warner Bros. Pictures

Therefore, the movie is packed with weird sounds, strange images (a woman-lizard, strange skin mutation or even a monster covered by digital signals) and philosophical dialogues.

William Hurt is perfect as the mad scientist who can’t get enough of pushing boundaries to reach a breaking point where only his lover could make him go back to reason. This strong performance alone could be a good reason to watch this movie.

This film is creepy, enigmatic and bizarre. There are no violent scenes (except one or two, but nothing too disturbing) and not too much gore either. Ken Russell (the director) did a good job of creating a weird atmosphere throughout the entire movie.

The cast is good although all credit really goes to Hurt for his amazing performance. All unforgettable scenes are featuring Hurt and this movie would not be what it is today without his presence.

However, be warned that this is not your typical Holywood thriller. If you only enjoy movies with a crystal clear scenario or with an easy to understand plot, forget this movie! You need to embrace the crazy visuals and the overall madness of the movie to have fun!

This film is weird, strange and very hard to labeled. You can have some pleasure watching this one if you don’t mind the craziness. Be warned!

Altered States movie review written by: Martin Berube