Altered States - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Altered States Reviews

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June 3, 2016
Someone watched 2001
½ May 29, 2016
Um cientista faz experimentos para alcançar estados alterados de consciência através do isolamento sensorial. Ele acaba descobrindo que estes estados podem inclusive alterar a realidade. Uma bad trip interessante.
May 23, 2016
86%
Watched this on 23/5/16
Despite some excessive religious crap, Altered States is a sound sci-fi film coming from the otherwise silly list of 80s Hollywood sci-fi. The visual techniques in the final demonstration are simply mind blowing. The film is well paced, tensed and the huminoid scenes are far better than what The Fly could offer.
½ May 1, 2016
Loud and disconcerting, Ken Russell's first and only attempt at the science fiction genre is one confusing hallucinatory mess that should go straight to the video store.
March 9, 2016
Dr. Edward "Eddie" Jessup (William Hurt) is a university professor of abnormal psychology who, while studying schizophrenia, begins to think that "our other states of consciousness are as real as our waking states." Jessup begins experimenting with sensory deprivation using a flotation tank, aided by two like-minded researchers, Mason Parrish (Charles Haid) and Arthur Rosenberg (Bob Balaban). At a faculty party he meets fellow "wonder kid" Emily (Blair Brown) and the two eventually marry. Seven years later, Eddie and Emily have two daughters and are on the brink of divorce. When Edward hears of a Mexican tribe that experiences shared illusion states, he travels to Mexico to participate in what is apparently an Ayahuasca Ceremony. During the walk into the bush his guide states that the indigenous tribe they are meeting works with Amanita muscaria which they are collecting for next year's ceremonies. An indigenous elder is seen with Banisteriopsis caapi root in his hand prior to cutting Jessup's hand, adding blood to the mixture he is preparing. Immediately after consumption Edward experiences bizarre, intense imagery. He returns to the U.S. with a tincture and begins taking it orally before each session in the flotation tank where he experiences a series of increasingly drastic psychological and physical transformations...

Ken Russell has always been known for movies out of the ordinary with added shock value, nudity and violence. By looking into the unexplored territory of the brain and how you can expand it with drugs and other means to have mental and physical experiences you simply can´t have otherwise is intriguing. I remember when "Altered States" came out, but I didn´t actually see it until last week, which is strange in many ways. The script was written by Paddy Chayefsky, based on his own novel which in return was partially based on the work of neuroscientist and dolphin researcher John Cunningham Lilly, who invented the isolation tank, and first started taking drugs while "tanking". Russell manages to create eerie and frightening vibes/visuals and with a superb William Hurt in the lead (his breakthrough role) the film has solid grounds. Yet, Russell ends up in some drug infused psycho babble that isn´t really coherent nor clear. The primal state of mind and Jessup´s sudden transformations makes you wonder what the hell is going on as Russell fails to deliver something that makes a bit more sense despite the fact that he is moving around in uncharted territories. I admit that there´s something interesting in "Altered States", but there´s too many things that needs more meat on the bones to satisfy me at least. Trivia: The film's box office failure and Ken Russell's onset behaviour, including a row with Paddy Chayefsky led to the director becoming a virtual pariah in Hollywood.
½ January 10, 2016
Entertaining to a fault, Hurt brings life to his character unbeknownst to what exactly he was going through.
January 7, 2016
I wanted to see a movie about psychedelic experiences, and I saw a science fiction stuff with a man turning into an ape. Quite disappointing.
October 8, 2015
Disturbing and technically impressive, Altered states is a largely compelling sci-fi horror that pulls you in with it's trippy visual style and evocative sound mixing.
Robert B.
Super Reviewer
September 27, 2015
Altered States is a fun watch. It is at times crazy, (unintentionally?) silly, melodramatic, and serious. William Hurt makes for an interesting mad scientist. Also, the film features some bits of the horror/grotesque movie magic characteristic of 80s films. Altered States is not a heavy film but it is a fun one.
½ September 17, 2015
Pretentious and meaningless, with lots of sequences of psychedelic trips which are just random collections of images with no coherence or symbolism. The main character is just a self-involved man who's so busy trying to find "truth" through hallucination that he's missing life around him.
September 8, 2015
It's hard to feel sorry for such a reckless and arrogant prick as William Hurt's character is in this, but the film raises some good questions about reality and our place in the universe. Russel packs some great visual flair into this too.
July 26, 2015
Psychedelic suggestibility can envelop otherwise worthy scientific study in a shroud of religious supernatural expectation. But; Turing proved mathematically that no thing in the universe could be exactly duplicated except by being that same exact thing in that same exact place& time. If we carry an exact memory of our exact evolution then that memory can play strange tricks on us.
July 3, 2015
This film will relentlessly mindf*** you, and make you wish hell was real. Think I'm lying? Watch it.
That being said, this movie was so freaking good. One of my new all time favorites I think. The special effects were seriously incredible, especially for the year it was made, and the imagery blends a schizophrenic and bizarre combination of both religious horror with far out surrealism in the vein of the works of Dali.
This movie is also quite multifaceted, being mainly a psychological horror drama, along with a healthy and well done dosage of monster movie, capped off with surrealist, cosmic mind entropy. Yeah, that's a genre of film, I just laid that shit down, and I'm sure if you watch this movie too would agree with me as to the validity of that description.
Anyways just watch this if you wanna trip out hardcore, no drugs required.
½ May 26, 2015
It's an older film but explores a concept that would still be a breakthrough today: expression of latent DNA to revert a person to a primitive mind. There are psychedelic themes and lots of weird imagery. The academic dialogue is really brilliant without becoming dry.
½ May 21, 2015
What an interesting mess.
½ April 30, 2015
Not as freaky as I'd expected but still quite original for 80's Hollywood. The story is not bad but the script does get a bit cringe worthy and cheesy at times.
½ April 28, 2015
Incredibly cool and scary mind bender that almost goes off the rails.
April 11, 2015
Very interesting film.
April 9, 2015
Creative yes.......boring,slow moving story also but the ending saves it for me.
March 11, 2015
A surrealistic and shocking sci-fi which at times shows stains of the time it was made in and at others shows rapid flashes of insanity and striving to find it which dances around expectation.
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