Sunday, February 20, 2011


Kaare Andrews’ imaginatively named Altitude tells the story of a group of American teenagers who decided to take a small private air craft on a weekend away with, you’ve guessed it, disastrous consequences.

If you enjoy watching eye meltingly beautiful kids deal with a mixture of pent-up teenage angst and fast-paced mortal peril, (see Final Destination, Donkey Punch, Jennifer’s Body, The Faculty etc etc etc), then this hair raising, special effects-jammed farce of a movie is for you.

The fun starts when troubled teenager Sara decides to fly her four friends to a Coldplay gig for the weekend. Rebellious and self-assured Sara decides not to tell anyone where she is going, or that she is attempting a solo flight in a small aircraft full of teenagers and beer. Things turn ugly when, despite Sara’s efforts, the plane careers into a fully-fledged storm and the instruments jam. After a convenient and highly unlikely mechanical failure the already bickering pals are hurtled into a continuous climb and, as if their day couldn’t get any worse, they’re running out of fuel.

Now then, there are some films in life that require a certain suspension of disbelief. Sometimes it is just best to quietly put your mind to sleep, to tell it ‘yes, I know it doesn’t make any sense but it looks very cool.’ Sometimes the gamble pays off, and sometimes it doesn’t. What Altitude will ask you to consider, should you take the trouble of committing to all ninety minutes of it, is the possibility that the plane that is continuing its constant ascent into the stratosphere will then be attacked by some giant tentacled beast that lurks in the centre of the aforementioned storm.

With a twist that could make or break the painfully over-stretched plot Altitude explores some potentially interesting issues of fear and over-active imaginations. The heavy emphasis on the characters and the ways in which they emotionally react to the many pressures put upon them might be the one saving grace of what in all other ways is a totally ridiculous premise.

Set for release on the 14th of March Altitude is going straight to DVD but I don’t think you could find a better specimen for an entertaining night in. However absurd this white-knuckle ride proves to be, Altitude has got to be worth one viewing, if only to see the many imaginative ways in which the small cast meet their makers. ‘Fear is in the air,’ we are told, and for Kaare Andrews it certainly should be.

EDIT:  Here is the trailer.

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