DVD Review: ALTITUDE
 By Dave Dreher - FOLLOW ME ON TWITTER OR FACEBOOK

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Nov 17, 2010, 3:14 PM

Fear of flying, claustrophobia, fear of heights and just the good old fear of losing control of a situation all get taken out for a ride, or a flight to be more exact in Anchor Bay's release of ALTITUDE.

As you settle in to join the five young passengers as they journey to a concert things go from great to creepy to life threatening once they are in the air. The story line is unusual and quirky but you should find that it works for you.

A quick outline.

As the film opens we are in a small personal aircraft. It appears to be a family – mom, dad, siblings. Suddenly the little boy sees something that frightens him and moments later another plan hits them.

Flash forward to present day and a group of friends are preparing to take off on a short flight in a rented plane to attend a concert. One of the females, Sarah is piloting. Her father is a pilot in the Air Force and she has been around planes all her life and been flying since old enough to get behind the controls. Sarah is played by raven heard beauty Jessica Lowndes who is as talented as she is easy to look at.

There is a sense of unease and underlying dread right from the get go in ALTITUDE something that the scripters took great care to construct and they did it quite well. The first third of the film is primarily character development as we meet the group of five who are about to fly directly into a hell that they can't imagine.

Shortly after take off things begin to go awry. A minor mechanical issue leads to big time problems as the plane begins to ascend and can't be stopped. They have flown into some kind of weird storm and the instruments go all crazy and fuel begins to run low and panic begins to set in. As always seems to be the case anytime you put a group of folks in a pressure situation, things just go oh so wrong. No different here. One dude ends up tied up to keep him under control and the calmer minds attempt to find a solution to their dire situation.

Of course desperate times call for desperate measures and the decision is made that one of them needs to climb outside the plane and try to un-stick whatever is causing them to constantly climb. The segment that follows is both hair-raising and terrifying if not some what implausible. In the end, it don't matter cause it's great fun to watch unfold.

While the plan does work on some level it does have horrific consequences and at about this point the true weirdness kicks in. It appears that the plane is being stalked by some kind of tentacled monster that seems intent on knocking them from the sky. Just how does it all get resolved? Sorry, don't want to ruin that one for you but it is one of the most original and unique twists to visit the genre in a a while. In the end the story goes full circle and we end up back where we started and you're kind of left staring at the screen going “now, that was cool!â€?

Staring a whole cast of young up and comers led by the aforementioned Jessica Lowndes we are also treated to the talents of Julianna Guill, Ryan Donowho, Landon Liboiron and Jake Weary. They end up carrying the full wait of the flick as it almost entirely takes place in the cabin of the small plane. If you didn't like or care for the characters then this one would die fast and hard, but it don't.

Good writing, good directing and good acting leads to a better than average genre romp that at the very least deserves a rental if not a sacred place in your growing collection.

The feature is available in both Blu-ray and standard DVD.  Special feature wise you get your commentary track a making of featurette and a nice behind the scenes segment.

All in all a nice little package that is well worth a couple hours of your time.



 

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