ALT | Altered States
Continuing their rewrite of the genre rulebook, the endlessly resourceful directors Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead (recently responsible for the exquisite Lovecraft-meets-Linklater horror-romance of Spring) also play brothers who, at the behest of a videotaped message, ill-advisedly return to Camp Arcadia, the compound of the "UFO death cult" they fled a decade earlier. That’s but the beginning of the enthralling illogic that fuels this descent into an uncanny realm, one in which menace manifests itself in many haunting forms.
Upon their arrival at the last place where they truly felt like they belonged, impressionable Aaron (Moorhead) and skeptical-but-protective Justin (Benson) find things not so much going sideways as skewed. More troublingly, these reality distorting happenings seem to eerily align with the cult’s professed beliefs. But even if some unspeakable force holds sway over Arcadia, could it be that that living under the dominion of this higher power is preferable to escaping back to their squalid, meaningless existence on the outside?
"Benson and Moorhead have crafted the kind of fantastical horror that creeps under your skin even as you are riveted to the screen, where stark, bright colours, and wonderful analog sounds of old video players mix with low growls of giant, unseen creatures; the former will break your heart, the latter will tear it to pieces…"—Shelagh Rowan-Legg, Screen Anarchy