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Wednesday, November 6, 2019

Altitude (2010)




This is another of those movies that I’ve had on my to watch list for a while. It seemed like it would probably be just another generic horror flick populated with unlikeable characters. While you get some of that I was surprised by how well the flick is put together.

Things open with a flashback of a small airplane being caught in a storm. Suddenly we see them get hit by another plane that comes out of nowhere. Then the action moves to the present where a girl and some of her friends are about to hop on a private plane to catch a concert. Sara, who is flying the plane, is the daughter of the woman who died in the crash years before. Clearly there will be some connection between the two. Also along is Bruce, Sara’s new boyfriend, who also has a connection to the earlier crash.

They take off and things go horribly wrong. They get caught in a storm and trying to fly over it a bolt pops loose and causes them to stay in the climb. It gets very strange when they keep climbing higher than they should be able to. While tossing things out to lighten the plane one of them also notices something in the clouds surrounding them. Things begin to attack the plane, things that can’t exist.

I liked this one. You do get the annoying characters that I expect in a new horror movie. The abusive jock, the sensitive artist, the girl torn between them. And then you have the nerdy guy whose love of comic books and science fiction might be a problem. Early in the story I wasn’t feeling it, but as things progress and we get into the meat of the plot I started to enjoy Altitude. This isn’t what I expected and to try and explain might give too much away. What I will say is that this plays more like a Sci-Fi story and less like a straight forward horror. People do die and there is a monster, but the key to what is happening is less rooted in one genre and more in the other.

I love the design of the creature in this one!
Speaking of the monster I enjoyed the hell out of it. There is a real Lovecraft vibe to it as we basically get a giant creature with tentacles and a nasty looking mouth with rows of teeth. We get a giant flying squid creature in the clouds! How cool is that? Normally I would be asking why the damn thing didn’t just swallow the small plane, but the story covers that. Be warned that there aren’t any on screen deaths so don’t expect any gore.

The ending of the movie is great. I’m not sure that it is a happy ending. I mean it kind of is, but it probably doesn’t end well for our characters. At least the version of them that we know. Yes, that sounds confusing and vague, but it was also a cool way to finish things off. I found this one streaming so it didn’t cost me anything to watch. That is the way to go with Altitude. I think after the cat is out of the bag and plot twists revealed it wouldn’t be as interesting or nearly as much fun. I don’t mean that as a complaint or criticism it is just the nature of the story.


© Copyright 2019 John Shatzer

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