Movie Review-Altered Minds


Review-Altered Minds has to be the shock film of 2016. (Well, it was actually released in 2013, this is the first time it hit home video) What starts out as your standard psychological thriller on the surface turns into a very well crafted film. This film resembles more about Hitchcock in the way it lays out the story and never let’s you fully get what it is trying to tell you. Which leaves the viewer in a sense of trying to guess and wonder what is going on. The film opens safely enough at a family reunion. The location looks to be taken from a postcard in Alaska. It is cold and frozen over and looks oddly enough, mysterious. We meet Dr Nathaniel Shellner and find out it is his birthday, as well as a funeral which we are attending. We learn early that the good doctor has lung cancer and that he was once a very celebrated psychiatrist who won a nobel prize for his work. He is surrounded by the ones he loves, his wife Lillian, his son Leonard and his two adopted kids, Harry and Julie. Soon enough, we meet Tommy, the other adopted son who is late to this party. We learn that he is a horror novelist who is trying to find the urn that contains the ashes of the family dog. When Tommy arrives though is when the party changes its mood and Tommy starts to accuse his step dad of performing experiments on them. After this is out in the open is when the family get together turns into something much more than a good time for all. This film had me sucked in from the opening to the end. Judd Hirsch in his best role in ages really gives you something to very much ponder for the most part.

This is the part where i come up with the negatives and to be honest, the negatives are there but this film has so much going for it, that I found it hard to really think about the negatives once I watched this film work its magic. It felt a lot like early Ang Lee the way the story was perfectly laid out and presented. This film really has a beautiful way of conveying a message to the viewer where we are felt we are being dragged one way, in reality we are too oblivious to see the pull from the opposite way. This film has some stellar performances through the whole cast, the way they work together to get this story across was such a huge plus. I really feel though the cover art may hinder it more than help. It sends you a message of something that is similar to most films, when in reality this film is a fresh breath of air. What a great little treasure that I am pretty sure most people will really have fun watching and getting into.

8.5 out of 10