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The ZONE - genre nonfiction
Soundchecks - music reviews
Rotary Action - helicopter movies
cast: Jessica Lowndes, Julianna Guill, Ryan Donowho, Landon Liboiron, and Jake Weary
director: Kaare Andrews
86 minutes (15) 2010
widescreen ratio 2.40:1
Anchor Bay DVD Region 2
review by James A. Stewart
Fear is in the air, according to the makers of Altitude. It turns out that it is more like a dire film with an incredulous script. Yes,
this is beyond bad and is made worse still by the fact that the film positions itself as some kind of Twilight Zone wannabe and ends up
like a very poor tribute act. Think Five doing We Will Rock You and you'll get a sense for what I am getting at.
Altitude tells the story a group of exceptionally good-looking friends who charter a plane to take them to a concert. When they get in
the air a mysterious storm takes them upward and they are then sent on a flight that is quite literally about life and death.
I am not an expert
on American aviation law but I would doubt such an inexperienced pilot would be allowed to take a group of teens up on a plane, especially when
there are storms around. In addition, the shallow nature of practically every character makes it hard for the viewer to give two hoots for what
will happen to them.
The minimal intrigue there is in the film comes from wondering why things are happening rather than how it will pan out for the cast. The bulk
of the movie is shot in the confined space of a small plane and in fairness; Kaare Andrews - a respected graphic novelist - does create
a sense of claustrophobic tension as the plane hurtles through the storm and in to the terror upcoming.
However, the shambling plot and the lack
of anything endearing about the cast makes Altitude a film to be tolerated rather than enjoyed. And it is the cast which gives the film
its biggest problem - the characters are so clich�d it is beyond laughable; jock, nerd, buxom babe, etc.
As Altitude careers toward its confusing and downright too twisted ending I had long since lost interest in what would come to pass in
respect to the survivors, my only hope being that it wouldn't be left open to a sequel. I think I got my wish.