Plot Details: This opinion reveals minor details about the movie's plot.
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Altitude (2010) Directed by Kaare Andrews.
Kaare Andrews is a famous comic book artist and writer. He is expanding into movies. I don't think he is quite ready to quit his day job.
Sara (Jessica Lowndes) is a General's daughter who's mother was killed in a plane crash. Her father does not want her in the air, but she has secretly gotten her pilot's license, and she is flying four of her friends to see Coldplay in concert.
Her friends are cousin Cory (Ryan Donowho) who is an aspiring musician, Sal (Jake Weary) who is an aspiring drunken jerk, his girlfriend Mel (Julianna Guill) who is an aspiring filmmaker, and future battered wife, and Bruce (Landon Liboiron) who is Sara's friend with benefits, who aspires to be her boyfriend. Bruce is very obviously afraid of flying, and is only going because he is afraid of losing Sara more.
They take off without a hitch, but as the flight progresses, Sal proves he is a jerk, Bruce proves he is terrified, and things start to go wrong. The altimeter gets stuck, meaning the plane is climbing higher, and can't go down. To make matters worse, they are approaching a storm, and Sara has to avoid it, because she is not qualified to fly by instrument. Of course, the instruments aren't working either. And just when things are really getting bad, Sal proves they can always be made worse by having a violent sphincter going nuts and threatening everybody. It's a bad situation. Then, it gets worse. Sal sees tentacles reaching for them from the clouds.
The elements of horror are isolation, dysfunctional human dynamics, and contact with the unknown, or the dangerous. This movie has those things in spades. It also has a young, but not untalented cast. There is a lot of sex appeal going on here, especially in Landon Liboiron's eyes. The effects are good for a low budget movie, though the cinematography is somewhat sterile. However the real problems lie in the story and direction.
Honestly, this feels like several episodes of The Twilight Zone stitched together to make a feature length movie; the William Shatner fear of flying, the monster outside the space ship episode, and the Billy Mumy will send you to the cornfield classic. These were all great 30 minute episodes, but they don't necessarily create a greater whole.
Still, for a first feature length effort, it shows much promise. I hope this is a case of a career with a rough take off, but smoother sailing to higher altitudes.
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Viewing Format: DVD
Video Occasion: Good for a Rainy Day
Suitability For Children: Not suitable for Children of any age