Altitude – 2/10
What can I say about Altitude? Some of the cinematography was nice, and there’s an interesting twist I didn’t see coming around an hour in. Oh, and it’s in focus, and the effects are actually pretty good. And the acting isn’t terrible.
Other than that, it features three unsympathetic or unlikeable male characters, and two female characters who are passable. That’s probably its biggest flaw – the characterisation. But it’s a really huge flaw for a film of this type. Pretty much everyone makes at least one really bad decision, acts in a way that is horrible, and does something particularly stupid. It’s not a case where they each do one of the previous things, they each do all three. At least once.
Basically it’s bloody hard to care about any of these people, or indeed the film.
Purely by accident, I saw Cube, then this – and Altitude really highlighted the importance of decent characterisation. They are essentially the same type of film – a group of people trapped in a confined, high stress environment in which they have little-to-no control. The difference is with Cube we care about or understand the characters and their actions and motivations. With Altitude, we don’t give a damn.
I can see how people would say it fits within the broad cosmic horror definition, but really, it’s just a really weak episode of Twilight Zone that’s been blown out to 90 minutes. Actually, as a 30 minute short film, I suspect it would have been much, much better since there would have been less of the characters.
I’d spoil this one something rotten like I did with The Forgotten, but except it missteps so badly right from our first introduction to these people, I really can’t be bothered giving it any more of my attention.