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Blood in the Snow Film Festival 2018: “Altered Skin” (2018) ★★★


Whenever I watch a movie that touches upon the concept such as the one written and directed by Adnan Ahmed’s “Altered Skin”, I use a self-made joke which you may find dark, but still. I strongly believe that there are two most profitable businesses on Earth that can always bring steady income – pharmaceutical companies and funeral homes. How? The answer is simple – we people never stop getting sick or dying. So while one forces people to lose their lives due to certain experiments, the owner of funeral homes can sleep peacefully, as unlike other businesses, their one will never ever die.

“Altered Skin” is not a highly financed film with superb visual effects and also zombies that’s become very fashionable now in Hollywood movies. However, it also has a premise to follow and a story to tell while everything else is just a support cast to fulfil the main goal. It all starts with one brave journalist, Shehzad Ameen, who, with his cameraman, walks on the streets filled with horror. One of the interviewees named Akbar Sahib tells Shehzad that all the carriers come out mostly at night. And who are those carriers, you will quickly get a chance to find out.

That’s when the real movie begins when we find our protoganist, Craig, an American engineer in Pakistan, who waits for his wife to recover from a strange virus. Due to that, she was put into induced coma to stop her brain activity which, as per her doctor, should slow down the virus from spreading. That theory soon will be proven wrong, as her time left to live quickly turns into a few weeks. In the meantime, Craig was contacted by a woman named Amina, who secretly sends him the files of InGenec, a pharmaceutical company that not only created the virus, but won’t share the cure as per the demand of their new client.

InGenec offers transdermal patches that freezes the virus’ activity as a temporary solution and the person who got infected after using the patch won’t go crazy or turn into a zombie. When Craig learns about the conspiracy against people, he agrees to help, but once he learns that there’s a cure that can save the life of his wife, he takes an extra step, putting his own life into great danger. While the bad and powerful people are after him, Craig knows he cannot afford losing another minute, as ever lost second is literally causing death to the entire population of Pakistan.

“Altered Skin”, as a I already mentioned, in terms of technicality, has nothing serious to offer, yet is an engaging piece to watch. Adnan Ahmed certainly picks a thought-provoking subject matter, includes some zombies, a bit of gruesome scenes and uses only seventy nine minutes to tell the entire story in an impressive fashion. For a very low budget piece, “Altered Skin” turns into an intriguing journey, I am sure some of you won’t mind being a part of. There’s always conspiracy theories existing around pharmaceutical companies as to why they don’t invent anything revolutionary but after watching “Altered Skin”, you will not wonder why. And that’s why it’s another valid reason to see it so that we stop having any illusion about pills that are meant to make people addicted rather than helping them.

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