Talk:Altered States

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Horror Film?[edit]

  • What are the criteria for branding this movie as a "horror film"? The definition used in the WP article is so broad "attempt to make the viewer experience dread, fear, terror, disgust or horror" as to be useless, and the secondary element it considers defining, evil, is not prevalent in AS. I tried to find refinement of the criteria under the Wikipedia:WikiProject Horror but could not locate any. I have always considered Altered States to be a science fiction rather than a horror film, and do not ever recall having seen it described (much less defined) as the latter. I think this designation should be removed. Lethiere 01:31, 6 May 2006 (UTC)
I agree. I would never think of Altered States as a horror movie and it would be quite a stretch to make a case for it being so although it's a bit sui generis--doesn't fit well into any category but much better fits into science fiction than horror. I am going to go ahead and remove the template. --Fuhghettaboutit 05:13, 6 May 2006 (UTC)

This entry is ridonkulous. It says nothing about what the film and novel are actually about.

Plot[edit]

The Plot section of this article needs to be rewritten. I know nothing about the film or novel, so I cannot attempt to repair it myself, but reading this article didn't shed as much light on the plot as I had hoped. Most of the Plot section does not directly address the plot itself, but instead focuses on the events surrounding the writing of the storyline. --DavidGC 09:02, 28 May 2007 (UTC)

I'm on it. It could take me some time. —Viriditas | Talk 10:10, 22 July 2007 (UTC)


Uh, the entire movie revolves around William Hurts characters experiments with a super-potent psychedelic mushroom and sensory-deprivation tank studies. How could one possibly forget to mention the 'shrooms, which is the whole catalyst in the movie? You know, like any good person who has taken psychedelics such as LSD or magic mushrooms, Hurts character becomes obsessed with inner discovery, love, relationships, mind-expansion, life-after-death, God, while of course, enjoying and being terrified by his visions, you know, all those little things the writer of this quite strikingly inadequate entry somehow "didn't notice."

It's love and it's the psychedelics that are the main points here. Neither of which is barely mentioned.

I think it is possible to overemphasize the psychedelic angle. For instance, the visuals with mushrooms are tightly related to atomic mushroom clouds- Even has quite a bit of Garden of Eden imagery- so there are themes about loss of innocence and death and suffering that are not specifically "psychedelic." The experiments the story is based on also had numbers of people hallucinate during sensory deprivation without ingesting psychedelics. Replace the mushrooms with an electrode in the brain, or heat stroke, or whatever; and the plot essentially remains unchanged. I'm sure the writer(s)/director shared your insight, but producers knew much of the audience would have never tried psychedelic drugs and had no intention of trying them. Tumacama (talk) 20:03, 31 January 2010 (UTC)

Hi, the plot section was really confusing, so I tried to update it. But it would be better to rewrite it completely.

On the other hand I appreciate the cultural links section.

Quite interesting film

Mad Magazine parody[edit]

MAD Magazine's parody of this movie, which I believe was called "Really Altered State," was featured in a special two-in-one issue in which you flipped the magazine over to read each part-issue. The flipside issue featured "Flopeye," a parody of the live-action film version of "Popeye".24.57.249.250 (talk) 00:54, 11 December 2010 (UTC)

Inline citations[edit]

This article urgently required inline citations, especially in the "In popular culture" section. I have completed a copyedit of the section and removed the tag.--Soulparadox (talk) 20:43, 30 November 2012 (UTC)