October 23, 2011

Altitude (2010)

Directed by Kaare Andrews. Starring Jessica Lowndes ("Sara"), Julianna Guill ("Mel"), Ryan Donowho ("Cory"), and Landon Liboiron ("Bruce"). Rated R.

Source: Region 1 DVD (Anchor Bay)
Running time: 01:30:10
Country: Canada, USA

Do you ever come across a film where you can't help but repeatedly sing the title to the tune of an actual song? I did it with GRADIVA, which I sung to the tune of "Amoeba" by Adolescents, and last night (and today) I found myself doing it again with this film's title, which I sung (in my head) to the tune of "Attitude" by the Misfits. And now it's stuck in my head. Fuck. I want you all to suffer with me, so go ahead and try singing it to yourself: "Altitude - You got some fuckin' altitude. I can't believe what you say to me - You got some altitude." You're welcome.

Another question: You know how some movies have WTF scenes? Well, this whole movie is a ninety-minute WTF scene. For reals. But let's start at the beginning, shall we? ALTITUDE is about a seemingly innocent plane trip gone awry. Sara, a college-bound young lady who's in the process of becoming a pilot, sneaks away for the weekend against her father's orders and invites a few of her friends along to go to a Coldplay concert. But instead of road-tripping it, she insists on flying a plane that she apparently rents just for the occasion. Her friends cram into the plane, including her creepy not-boyfriend who's afraid of flying, and it isn't long before things take a horrifying turn. Sara ends up flying into what seems like a neverending dark cloud that appears out of nowhere, all of the controls on the plane begin to malfunction, someone gets nauseous, and everyone freaks the fuck out.

Certain aspects about ALTITUDE brought to mind an airborne version of Adam Green's FROZEN, for obvious reasons and also because this film has a similar look and style, which I liked. So at least ALTITUDE looks great. And of course if you read my AUTOPSY, you may recognize the dark-haired goddess pictured above, Jessica Lowndes. You know how I get when it comes to actresses who I think are hot. I gotta watch all their movies, which is what drove me to see this one in particular. Like AUTOPSY, she plays the lead in this and there's not a moment that goes by in the film where she's not stunning (even when she's bleeding from the head and crying, but I'm kinda into that anyway). Julianna Guill from the FRIDAY THE 13TH reboot also stars in this, although she's nearly unrecognizable with clothes on.

Other than the consistently sharp look of the film and the fact that Ms. Lowndes is bangin', ALTITUDE is a mess, but a somewhat interesting mess. They could have gone in a number of different directions with this film, but ultimately they took a Sci-Fi route, which was expected considering the film's promotional artwork depicting a plane being attacked by tentacles. There's an undeniable TWLIGHT ZONE vibe to the film, and there are obvious similarities to the John Lithgow airplane segment in the TWILIGHT ZONE movie. But unfortunately that's about it. The film basically feels like a ninety-minute episode of the aforementioned show rather than a solid feature-length film.

ALTITUDE builds to a mind-boggling twist so "out there" (even by Sci-Fi standards) that it almost ruins the rest of the film. If M. Night Shyamalan were to see this, even he'd be like "Really?!" Otherwise, the film's paced fairly well, with enough bickering amongst the characters and little challenges introduced to keep things moving along. One thing I appreciated about the character interactions is that the "drama" didn't seem too far-fetched. It's obvious when the everyone's introduced that they're bringing baggage onto the plane (figuratively speaking), which leads to their emotions and true feelings coming to the surface when they feel their lives are in jeopardy. Anyway, ALTITUDE ("You got some fuckin' Altitude") is good from a technical standpoint and effectively suspenseful at times. Worth checking out despite its flaws, but don't expect anything clever, and be prepared for one of the most obnoxious characters you'll ever see.

Score: 5


  1. Oh, duder. Even before I read this, I could hear "You got some fuckin' Altitude!" running around in my head.

  2. hahaha Glenn Danzig and WTF scene references in the same review... new favorite blog EVER.

  3. I didn't like this movie much at all. The atmosphere during the sky shots were nicely done but that was about it for me. The AMAZING STORIES style ending pretty much sealed the coffin, imo. Good write up though Aaron, better than the movie that's for sure!

  4. Richard: Great minds think alike?

    AZ: Well, thanks!

    Brian: Yeah I was being a bit generous in this review, mainly because I don't want to hurt Jessica's feelings since I'm sure she'll read this. The set-piece involving the rope was pretty good. That ending, though... man, what a bunch of b******t.