If you're not a comic book nerd like myself, you may not have even heard of this little gem. Altitude is the first full length feature directed bu of one of my favorite comic artists, Kaare Andrews. I'll admit I didn't quite know what to expect being that I'd never seen any of his short films, but I knew the premise behind this one sounded like something right up my alley. Cthulhu-esque creature vs a plane?! How could this possibly go wrong?
Altitude is the story of a group of college-aged kids who are on their way to a Coldplay concert. They decide to rent a plane, being that one of them has just earned her pilots license, and the trip is significantly shorter by plane. Shortly after liftoff, they encounter bad weather and are forced to climb above it, only something goes wrong and once they begin climbing they're unable to stop. They end up flying directly into an enormous black, lighting-filled cloud and before long discover that they aren't the only thing in the sky, and the malfunctioning plane, lack of oxygen, and increasing hostility against one another are the least of their worries.
This movie plays a little like an episode of Tales From the Crypt, or a segment from a Creepshow movie, that runs just a little too long. It's not a bad movie, it's just that there really isn't all that much to it. I mean they're stuck in a plane, and it's a small plane, so there's only so much that could happen. The creature really doesn't show up until the finale, which is fine as it gives us a little characterization time. The only problem with that being I never really cared about any of them. There was an attempt at a little back-story on the main character, the pilot, but it's not all that interesting. There's a twist toward the end that ties two of the characters together, but it got more of an eye roll from me than any other reaction. In fact, it went more towards ruining things for me than anything else.
Then of course there's the real reason I wanted to see the movie, the creature. As we all know, I love me a giant, tentacled creature. This movie not only has one of those, but it has one that doesn't live at the bottom of the ocean or some shit, this motherfucker lives in a gigantic black cloud of lightning. This bitch can FLY. Is there anything in existence scarier than that? NO. And he looks good, he looks very good. He makes the aliens in "Monsters" look like first gen cgi creatures. The creature makes getting through the rest of the movie worth it, and isn't that exactly what it's supposed to do?
Overall, Altitude ended up being pretty entertaining. It's not perfect, but it's definitely not the worst thing you'll see this year. Recommended for any Kaare Andrews fan, and we'll all undoubtedly be supporting the film anyways, but also anybody looking for some giant monster kinda fun.