James Milstead’s review published on Letterboxd:
ALTERED STATES (18)
D: Ken Russell
Warner Bros. (Howard Gottfried & Daniel Melnick)
USA 🇺🇸 1980
W: Sidney Aaron [based on the novel by Paddy Chayefsky]
DP: Jordan Cronenweth
Ed: Eric Jenkins
Mus: John Corigliano
William Hurt (Dr. Edward Jessup), Blair Brown (Emily Jessup), Bob Balaban (Arthur Rosenberg), Charles Haid (Mason Parrish), Drew Barrymore (Margaret Jessup)
An interesting twist on the Jekyll & Hyde horror formula with William Hurt making his film debut as a psychologist who uses a sophisticated new use of technology in which he emerges himself in a tank which causes hallucinations of human evolution and he emerges from it as a man poised to kill.
More of a psychological thriller than a conventional horror with good use of special effects and the first movie to use a new format of sound recording and mixing, which might not mean much to the general cinema-goer, but it ensured that it was stood up to be noticed come Oscar night, nominated for two awards in total (Best Sound & Best Original Score).
Certain elements haven't dated well, but it still has a modest cult following.