The story of a broken family striving to stay together while a curse and the ghosts of a haunted house try to tear them apart.


“Altar” feels like an old 1970s TV movie dabbling in house horror for light scares. You’ve seen the bones of this film in better films, but I have to say that Matthew Modine and Olivia Williams do their best to keep the film afloat. That being said, the lack of any originality in the story can’t be supported by any strong performances. It’s a light film made for casual viewing, but it’s not terrible. “Altar” is just a trifle that doesn’t really demand your viewing attention. That’s OK, as there used to be movies dedicated to just that.

Haunted house stories are a dime a dozen. If you’ve seen one, you’ve seen them all. The kicker is the visual flourish that a director brings to their presentation. For some reason, killer visuals seem to be poison to modern horror. I don’t know what’s up with that, as if you’re working in horror…you need to go out of your way to stand out. I’m not talking about makeup gore, I’m talking about set pieces that bother to make a film stand out. Why is that such a foreign concept now? I could keep bitching about what I don’t like about horror, but nobody cares. I could say that this film isn’t worth your time, but people would watch it out of spite. I’m in Oscars mode right now, so I can’t bother.

The DVD comes with no special features. The A/V Quality is pretty sharp for an indie flick. The Dolby 5.1 track keeps the action across all channels. Plus, the transfer doesn’t sport most of the typical standard definition issues. In the end, it’s worth a rental or stream.

RELEASE DATE: 02/17/2015

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