What intrigued me about Altitude (2010) was that the film was being promoted to fans of Donnie Darko (2001) and classic sci-fi show The Twilight Zone. I may not be the biggest fan of Donnie Darko – though I do applaud it for its ingenious and intriguing storytelling, compelling characters and fantastic soundtrack.
I am, however, a huge fan of The Twilight Zone. It’s my favourite TV show of all time and it’s full of fascinating and absorbing stories, all of which are incredibly well written. So comparing your film to a cult favourite with a huge following and one of the greatest TV shows of all time is a bold move and one that could set standards a bit too high.
For a supernatural horror, it really dropped the ball on a lot of the supernatural elements. If you write characters that are incredibly un-engaging, don’t try and force feed pointless relationship storylines down our our throats.
But, like Donnie Darko and The Twilight Zone, Altitude does eventually lead up a surprise ‘twist’ ending. However, unlike Donnie Darko or The Twilight Zone, Altitude’s ending does not deliver enough to compensate for the awfulness it had presented beforehand. While I admit I could not have seen the ending coming if my life depended on it, it still felt underwhelming.
Convoluted, quite messy and very much a let down, Altitude is a film with so much promise that it goes unrealised. All the tools were there but they were put in the hands of people who can’t build things. An intriguing plot ruined by awful characters, horrendous dialogue and dreadful acting. With a bit of time spent on getting the plot and characters right, this could have become a cult hit. As it stands, it’s nothing more than a TV movie made for the SyFy Channel.