Altered States

Mad scientists, mutants, man-machines and mind-bending trips - these films connect with our human biology and chemistry.

Whether pushing the limits of the human body or bioengineering new futures for the species, many of these films owe much to the stomachchurning virtues of their special effects. In an age where bio-machining is well under way and the planet seemingly destined to face increasingly difficult challenges to its survival, this is sci-fi territory which feels more potent than ever. Unraveling the mysteries of the mind is another sci-fi specialty, of course, and in Altered States you’ll find films that evince the hallucinatory power of cinema, play with our memories and generally mess with our minds.

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The UntamedThe Untamed

Horror201698 minsDirector: Amat Escalante

Amat Escalante follows Heli with a boundary-pushing, mind-blowing mix of sex, sci-fi and social drama.

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The EndlessThe Endless

Horror2017112 minsDirector: Aaron Moorhead

Two brothers who escaped a cult are drawn back in by a mysterious message… Acclaimed directors Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead (Spring) return with another hybrid piece of raging intensity.

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The ThingThe Thing

Horror1982109 minsDirector: John Carpenter

Twelve men at an Antarctic research station battle a shape-shifting alien that hides in human form, in John Carpenter’s ground-breaking sci-fi horror.

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Upstream ColourUpstream Colour

Science Fiction201396 minsDirector: Shane Carruth

Shane Carruth’s startlingly original and beautifully conceived drama follows two lovers as they recover from infection by a mind-altering parasite.

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Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless MindEternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

Drama2004103 minsDirector: Michel Gondry

Jim Carrey and Kate Winslet play the couple who fall in love so quickly it seems they must have known each other in a past life ... only to discover they did.

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The CongressThe Congress

Drama2013123 minsDirector: Ari Folman

Ari Folman’s follow up to Waltz with Bashir is a hallucinatory fable about an actress whose digital image is controlled by a Hollywood studio.

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Horror2010104 minsDirector: Vincenzo Natali

Adrien Brody and Sarah Polley are scientists who create an animal-human hybrid that develops at an alarming rate and soon grows out of control.

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Behemoth the Sea MonsterBehemoth the Sea Monster

Horror195869 minsDirector: Douglas Hickox

A radiation-spouting prehistoric creature emerges off the Cornish coast and begins making its way towards London, in Britain’s answer to Godzilla.

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Creature from the Black LagoonCreature from the Black Lagoon

Horror195479 minsDirector: Jack Arnold

Jack Arnold’s monster classic about the discovery of a prehistoric, amphibious Gill-man that takes a shine to a female expeditionary.

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The Andromeda StrainThe Andromeda Strain

Science Fiction1971131 minsDirector: Robert Wise

Veteran director Robert Wise’s adaptation of Michael Crichton’s sci-fi novel is an alien virus epic with superb special effects and a suspenseful climax.

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The Final ProgrammeThe Final Programme

Science Fiction197386 minsDirector: Robert Fuest

Wild adaptation of Michael Moorcock's novel about a playboy's search for the lost designs of the perfect self-replicating human.

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The Giant Gila MonsterThe Giant Gila Monster

Horror195975 minsDirector: Ray Kellogg

This low-budget addition to the creature features craze of the 1950s sees a giant lizard emerge from a Dallas ravine to terrorise teenagers.

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Science Fiction197292 minsDirector: Peter Sasdy

Dr Del Shaw and the Doomwatch team investigate sinister effects of pollution on a small island in this big-screen spin-off from the cult BBC series.

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Island of Lost SoulsIsland of Lost Souls

Horror193270 minsSilentDirector: Erle C. Kenton

A highly controversial adaptation of the H.G. Wells story about a mad scientist creating half human/half animal creatures on his island kingdom.

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Horror1980103 minsDirector: David Cronenberg

From singularly talented Canadian director David Cronenberg comes this sci-fi/horror classic about people with powerfully violent telepathic powers.

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The Incredible Shrinking ManThe Incredible Shrinking Man

Science Fiction195781 minsDirector: Jack Arnold

One of the classics of 50s sci-fi sees the title character in the unfortunate position of continually shrinking following exposure to radiation.

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Man without DesireMan without Desire

Fantasy1923108 minsSilentDirector: Adrian Brunel

A sumptuous silent drama of love, frustrated desire and suspended animation in 18th-century Venice.

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Comedy1972103 minsDirector: George Roy Hill

This adaptation of Kurt Vonnegut’s novel follows Billy Pilgrim’s journeys in time as he flits between WWII Dresden and a future on planet Tralfamadore.

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Midnight SpecialMidnight Special

Science Fiction2015112 minsDirector: Jeff Nichols

Jeff Nichols, the acclaimed chronicler of American delirium, presents an imaginative sci-fi about an otherworldly child pursued by the FBI and a shadowy cult.

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Fantasy198387 minsDirector: David Cronenberg

James Woods and Debbie Harry star in David Cronenberg’s mind-melting sci-fi about media domination.

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The WallThe Wall

Drama2011104 minsDirector: Julian Roman Pölsler

A woman holidaying at an Alpine hunting lodge discovers she’s been encircled by a mysterious, invisible force-field, in this highly original exploration of solitude and survival.

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Open Your EyesOpen Your Eyes

Thriller1997119 minsDirector: Alejandro Amenábar

Alejandro Amenabar’s signature science-fiction drama follows a young man who falls for his dream woman, before he is disfigured in an accident.

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Rose RedRose Red

Animation & Artists Moving Image199419 minsDirector: Simon Pummell

Simon Pummell's (Bodysong) visually ravishing sci-fi thriller exploring the future of virtual reality and the desire to transcend human limits.

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The Man Who Changed His MindThe Man Who Changed His Mind

Horror193663 minsDirector: Robert Stevenson

Boris Karloff stars as Dr. Laurence, a scientist who has devised a way to put one person’s mind into another’s body.