ALT | Altered States
Sentenced to a stint in a retro-futurist finishing school where she’s to learn proper manners, Uma (Emma Roberts) instead realizes that the island institute may very well spell her end. After all, her fellow enrollees (including Awkwafina and Eiza González) have acquired a Stepford-like taste for subjugation thanks to the myriad "treatments" they endure. As Uma digs in her heels in a battle of wills with the domineering Duchess (Milla Jovovich), Alice Waddington mounts a gloriously ambitious and eerily alluring send-up of wellness culture that isn’t afraid to get its manicured hands dirty. In cobbling together the best dressed genre film since Peter Strickland’s In Fabric, Waddington casts the net wide for inspiration, incorporating elements of cult classics, cosplay culture, and video games to fashion a female-driven fantasy world tailored to our times.
"Just embrace the crazy as a pulpy camp indulgence, like some kind of post-feminist Barbarella meets The Handmaid’s Tale… Words can’t do justice to the truly lavish sets and costumes on display here which are so dazzling, intricate and bizarre… Like the classic British TV series from the 1960s, The Prisoner, another obvious touchstone here, it doesn’t make much sense - but if you watch it stoned, it’s great." - Leslie Felperin, Hollywood Reporter