ALT | Altered States
Nick (Philipp Hochmair) and Anna (Birgit Minichmayr) set off for the Swiss Alps with the best of intentions: he aims to collect local recipes while she plans to finally write a new children’s book. But then the feuding couple run headlong into a sheep and are sent spiralling into a cracked-mirror reality stocked with doppelgängers (Nick’s "other woman" seemingly starts to multiply, with each iteration played wonderfully by Mona Petri), temporal oddities and other uncanny phenomena (including a talking cat that isn’t necessarily to be trusted). In short order, identity becomes fluid, with the very notion of reality proving equally as slippery. Seemingly born under the total eclipse of a Lynch-Hitchcock Venn diagram, this sophisticated mind-bender from Greg Zglinski, a student of Kieślowski’s, will leave viewers warily eyeing both their better halves and their own reflections.
"Edgy marital drama, inky black comedy and blood-freezing horror combine to intoxicating effect… Unraveling this cat’s-cradle isn’t half as important or pleasurable as getting entangled in it to begin with; Zglinski’s espresso-dark humor and icy formal precision may nod to a host of expert cinematic mind-gamers, from Polanski to von Trier, at different intervals, but Animals gleefully cultivates its very own kind of crazy."—Guy Lodge, Variety