Box art for Altered States

Altered States

horror, romance, sci-fi & fantasy


A terror spectacle by a visual wizard, about a research scientist whose experiments unlock the horrors of his mind.

Rotten Tomatoes® scores

  • Critic Score
    86%
  • Audience Score
    71%

movie reviews from Rotten Tomatoes®

  • Tomatometer®

    86%
    reviews counted: 11
    see all Altered States reviews
  • Audience

    71%

Top Critic Reviews

Fresh:

- Cole Smithey, ColeSmithey.com, Thursday, June 24, 2010

Fresh: There isn't a lucid moment in it (and much of the dialogue is rendered unintelligible by Russell's subversive direction), but it has dash, style, and good looks, as well as the funniest curtain line since Some Like It Hot.

- Dave Kehr, Chicago Reader, Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Fresh: Visually dazzling loopy drug film.

- Dennis Schwartz, Ozus' World Movie Reviews, Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Audience Reviews

3 stars

Not one of my favorite Russell films, but interesting. I'm tempted to read the source material (novel by Paddy Chayefsky) as I feel that at the core of this film is an incredibly deep premise that might be better "fleshed out" in the novel. I feel that much the more interesting concepts are lost / overshadowed by the psychedelia that predominates the film. Much of which seems horribly dated at this point. I was lucky enough recently to take part in a Q & A session with Ken Russell and he told an ammusing story of how when this film was playing in theaters it developed a large following of college students who would (he says) buy their tickets and wait in the lobby or outside the theater (getting high) until they got the signal from one of their friends inside that there was another hallucination scene starting. At which point they'd all run back in to watch those scenes only to step back into the lobby / outside when the "trip" was over. He found that quite amusing and (after watching this film) it's a story that I totally believe.

- RCCLBC, Friday, August 27, 2010

3 stars

A Harvard scientist takes an exotic Mexican hallucinogen inside a sensory deprivation tank, which causes him to physically regress to earlier evolutionary states. Completely ridiculous and unbelievable as science fiction, but on the other hand, Ken Russell's visuals may make it the greatest acid trip movie ever made. It's hard to rate this one; it's simultaneously no good at all, yet it's great.

- 366weirdmovies, Thursday, July 15, 2010

5 stars

Truly horrifying and beautiful at the same time. This is one of the most bizarre viewing experiences i've ever had. The plot was smart, well planned and nearly plausible. The creators obviously spent a great amount of time researching the topic. William Hurt gave a really haunting performance, his best probably.

- ythelastman89, Monday, November 16, 2009