Written and Directed by Matthew Sconce
Starring: Stefanie Estes, Brittany Falardeau, Tim Parrish
IMDb 3.8/10 (equals 1.9/5 on my scale) Rotten Tomatoes NO DATA
Metacritic NO DATA
“ALTAR is the terrifying story of a group of former college classmates who get lost driving to a college reunion camp out in the Sierra Nevada mountains. After stopping for the night, they stumble onto something much darker. They must battle to escape the evil they unleashed to not only save their own lives but their souls as well.”—Matt Sconce, Writer/Director
I was able to watch this film over the weekend. As I told you before, I am an all-around horror fan. I also tend to be very forgiving of B-Rate and C-Rate horror and seem to approach it from a slightly different perspective than most regular movie watchers.
B-Rate horror is not a bad thing. All it means, to me, is that the filmmakers didn’t’ have a huge studio backing them financially. It doesn’t mean that it’s a crap film. At all.
I didn’t have many complaints about this film. Only one actually, and I’ll get to that in a minute. But, I really did think that they did a good job with this film, ESPECIALLY since it is a “found-footage” film and those tend to give me motion sickness. I have to be honest, because of the way it was filmed, I hated The Blair Witch Project. And the shaky camera was the ONLY reason I hated it. I would so much rather the movie be so grotesque that I puke rather than the filming being so all over the place that I get sick. For a found-footage film, they did an EXCELLENT job.
What I really thought they excelled at and what got the hairs on the back of my neck to tingle was that you 100% feel like you are watching a friend’s home movie from a trip they took. And the fact that it feels like a REAL home movie does give it an extra special eerie feel. The acting doesn’t seem fake or forced really. The dialogue seems to naturally flow and gives you a great feel for the characters themselves. My favorite character was Bo, the little brother with an affinity for filming life. But the rest of the cast did well too.
My only complaint is that I feel there could have been more blood, gore and death AND that it felt like I waited a long time during the film for any horror to happen. The props weren’t A-List studio quality but I did think the effects themselves weren’t bad.
Now, the way in which I approach B/C-Rate or indie films is that these are independent filmmakers that want to do what they love and entertain the audience at the same time. I did not expect the ending and thought that it was clear that Sconce put a lot of effort into this script. There are definitely small moments of comedy but, it’s not an action packed film. But, that didn’t matter to me.
I have to say, this movie has renewed my faith in found-footage films. Because of this film I now won’t completely discount a movie just because it’s found-footage. And that is no easy task to accomplish, I assure you. I’ve not watched a found-footage film since Blair Witch. For that, a resounding two thumbs up for Mr. Sconce.