Alkony logo

If you'd like to be surprised by the Altitude film, I don't recommend you to watch the trailer beyond 1:10, because it gives away too much of the plot. It basically provides a summary of the film, up to the ending scene, it's only the very end we are not shown.

Altitude, movie (2010) - Watch the trailer on YouTube
Watch the trailer in French - Watch the trailer in German
video © Thin Air Productions

Article updated: 2023.08.05

The Altitude (2010) is a contemporary fantasy mystery / thriller film. The movie was reviewed by Kadmon.

Product: Altitude, movie (2010)

Original title: Altitude

Series: -

Setting: fantasy Earth

Product type: Film, 1,5 hours, Genre: contemporary fantasy myster / thriller, Style: fantasy, mystery, thriller, horror, supernatural horror

Release: 2010.10.26

Reviewer: Kadmon, Type: Male, 40s, Preferences: Immersive, logical story, consistent setting, prefers surprises to spoilers, prefers establishing elements before referencing them

Watched: very recent (2021.10), first time

Rating: Average (2 out of 3 points) to Good (2+ out of 3 points), Enjoyment: Good (2+ out of 3 points)

* * *

This is my review of Altitude, a contemporary fantasy mystery / thriller movie from 2010. It's about a group of friends getting into trouble while flying in a small plane. The Altitude film is interesting, I recommend it to fans of the genre.

Altitude, movie (2010) - Film review by KadmonAltitude, movie (2010)
image © Thin Air Productions

* * *

Review (spoiler-free) - Altitude, movie (2010)

I didn't know much about this movie. I think it was recommended to me a while back, I took a look at the previews, and decided to skip it. Now I got another chance to watch it, and as I didn't have anything better, I've sat down. I didn't watch the trailer.

The Altitude movie is about a group of friends getting into trouble while flying in a small plane.

The story is good, and mostly consistent. There are no real character arcs. I didn't find any logical problems.

The cinematography is okay. As we either see an airplane flying, or the inside of the airplane for 90 minutes, they tried a lot of tricks to make this visually interesting.

The characters are good, and although they are not very well developed, their abilities are established earlier than they are being used. Their portrayed by the actors is good, believable.

The music (by Jeff Tymoschuk) is okay. It's not very noticable, but fits the mood of the story.

Altitude is an interesting contemporary fantasy mystery / thriller, I think fans of the genre might enjoy it.

My experience

I was mostly satisfied with Altitude (2010).

Rating: Average (2 out of 3 points) to Good (2+ out of 3 points). Altitude could be a well-made film, if the characters would intentionally act stupidly (as explained later in the spoilers section).

Enjoyment: Good (2+ out of 3 points). Altitude is interesting, it has a couple of surprising twists, I liked it.

Rewatchability: Low. I think it's mostly the surprise of the story that makes you feel interested.

Chance of watching it again: Nope.

Chance of watching a sequel: Probably. I'm interested.

Altitude, movie (2010) - Film review by KadmonAltitude, movie (2010)
image © Thin Air Productions

Will you enjoy this?

If you like mystery or thriller movies, you might like Altitude.

If you like horror or action thriller movies (Alien, The Abyss), you might like the film, although there are not many action scenes or scary scenes in the Altitude movie.

If you can get through the first half hour of the movie still interested, from then on it gets into gear, and you might even love this.

If you like twists of the story, you might enjoy this movie.

If you prefer visuals over story, this movie will be boring, as the whole story is set in an airplane.

If you hate teen horror movies, you could still give this a try, as it's not a bad story.

Watching for plot points

If you are interested in mystery stories, I think it's worth watching the Altitude movie for the plot points.

* * *

Altitude, movie (2010) - Film review by KadmonAltitude, movie (2010)
image © Thin Air Productions

Review with spoilers - Altitude, movie (2010)

I mostly liked the Altitude movie.


The cover of the movie with the tentacles already spoils part of the story.

The trailer

The trailer is basically a substitute for watching the movie.

If you prefer spoilers, it's a great trailer for the Altitude film. If you prefer to avoid spoilers, it will ruin the movie for you.

Promise of the first scene

We see a memory of a family getting into an air crash. The kid probably survives. Then we see a young girl. I assume that the young girl is the survivor, and we'll see how the girl will get over her fear of flying.

Later it's explained that this was just a dream, as it was her mother, the pilot, who died in the air crash.

Then it turns out it was really a memory, but not the memory of the girl, but the memory of her boyfriend.

Execution: Well, there were plenty of twists, and as this is a mystery movie, I think it worked out all right.

Plot summary / Synopsis

We see a memory of an air crash. The pilot and the family she carries, fall from the sky.

Then we cut to a young woman, Sara (Jessica Lowndes), who is about to fly away with her friends (Sal, Cory, Mel, Bruce) on a small airplane, that she is going to drive. Sal (Jake Weary) is a wrestler, and Mel (Julianna Guill) is his girlfriend. Bruce (Landon Liboiron) is a nerd, who is in a relationship with Sara (although Sara is about to leave him). Cory (Ryan Donowho) seems to be a loner.

When the plane takes off, a screw gets loose.

During an argument, the drunk Sal tears up the rare collectible comic book of the Bruce. It turns out that Cory is in love with Mel.

Due to a malfunction, they run into a dark storm cloud. The pilot can't reach anyone on the radio. They all start to act like they are doomed. The pilot's boyfriend panics, so they knock him out ond tie him up. As the altitude rudder is stuck, Cory volunteers to climb out and try to repair it. He succeeds, but Sal sees a tentacled monster catching Cory, so he cuts the rope.

It turns out the Bruce was the kid who survived the air crash that killed Sara's mother. He also tells that the plane that crashed into the plane of their family got out of nowhere, and it was never identified. Bruce gets out of the rope, and takes a look at his comic book, where a tentacled monster grabs a girl.

Then a tentacled monster breaks the window, and grabs Mel, taking her out of the plane. Sal blames Cory, and tries to push him out of the plane, but it's him who falls out.

It turns out that Bruce can manifest his fears, when he is very afraid, and he is afraid of flying. He shows that what happened on the plane was part of the story of the comic book. Sara pretends to love him, so he tries to imagine the both of them safe, and it almost works, but he gets doubts. He tries to imagine his parents, and he gets their own plane into the past, almost crashing into the plane of their parents, but they manage to steer away, saving them.

We see that the plane of their parents land safely, and see the kid Sara and Bruce. We don't know what happens to the grown up Sara and Bruce.

The setting

The setting is a fantasy contemporary Earth, where Bruce is able to manifest his fears.

Altitude, movie (2010) - Film review by KadmonAltitude, movie (2010)
image © Thin Air Productions

The powers of Bruce

Bruce has a supernatural ability to either change reality or change the perception of others when he is really afraid.

If he can change reality, that means he is able to teleport and travel in time to change the past. He might have teleported them to an infinite dark stormy place, with tentacle monsters. He might have teleported them into the past, causing the tragedy that killed their parents.

If he can only change the perceptions, that means that they didn't really change the past, but at least he had a good feeling at the end of the story.

The message of the story

I'm not sure there's one. "Love conquers everything" maybe? "Get over your fears"?

The structure of the story

The scenes of the Altitude film are played in sequence, following the same storyline. The beginning is a memory from the past, but then we switch to the present.

Although it looks like there's a single viewpoint character (Sara), it turns out that the memory belong to someone else (Bruce), tricking the audience.

It has the usual arc of the dramatic structure - beginning, action, a sort of resolution.

Parallels with other stories

The structure of the story is similar to Twilight Zone episodes.

The story itself is similar to Sphere from Michael Crichton, where the Sphere manifested the fears of the people it encountered.

* * *

Things I liked

  • Crashing planes: At 1 hour, they said that it was an unidentified plane that crashed into the plane that carried the family. I thought it's likely that it will be their plane, and they are doomed to die. In the end they twisted this again, saving their parents.

* * *

How does it compare to the other works of the creators?

I think I haven't seen any other works of the writer (Paul A. Birkett) or the director (Kaare Andrews). Looking at their titles (Ghost Shark, Arachnoquake, Sniper: Assassin's End) I wouldn't be interested, but Altitude was a solid film, so I might give them a try.

* * *

Altitude, movie (2010) - Film review by KadmonAltitude, movie (2010)
image © Thin Air Productions

Analysis of the story - Altitude, movie (2010)

I mostly liked the story, I didn't find problems that would have prevented me from enjoying Altitude.

Problematic elements

Struck by terror: The whole cast acted from the first moment as if they were sure to be doomed to die. This was unrealistic for me, although it might be the effect of Bruce's abilities.

Vivid imagination while unconscious: It turns out that it's the manifestations of Bruce's fear that create to problems. However, for a while, he was unconscious, yet, the storm and the tentacled monster stayed.

Tricking the audience: As it looks like that we see the story through Sara's eyes, it's misleading that the memory at the beginning of the movie belongs to Bruce.

Low on fuel: When fuel runs out, there's still plenty of time before crashing into the ground. However, it might be Bruce's power that clouds the mind of Sara.

Unanswered questions

Were these two events the only occasions Bruce's powers manifested?

What happens to the adult Sara and Bruce in the end?

* * *

Possibilities of improvement

  • Speed up the taking off.
  • Cut the scenes when the girl tries to document them with a camera. It's just distracting, and doesn't get anywhere.
  • Change the scene when they knock Bruce out. Make it look like he is just tied up, but still conscious.

How it could have been better?


* * *

Altitude, movie (2010) - Film review by KadmonAltitude, movie (2010)
image © Thin Air Productions

Uses for the film - Altitude, movie (2010)


  • Set on contemporary fantasy Earth.
  • A kid manifests his fears, but even he is not aware of this.
    • This caused the death of his parents.
  • A plane is lost in a strange storm cloud
  • A hovering tentacled monster tries to catch the plane.
  • The people (passengers) die one by one.


  • The scenes with the tentacled monster could be used to depict tentacled monsters attacking a plane.
  • The scenes in the dark storm could be used to depict a very heavy storm.

Scenario ideas - Role-playing game scenario ideas


Scenario ideas - Wargame scenario ideas

  • The fight is set during a storm. The visibility is low due to the darkness and fog. There is a giant tentacled monster hovering above the playing area. At the beginning of every turn, roll a d6. On a 6, the creature chooses a random target model, and grabs it with a tentacle. One models adjacent to the target can help to anchor the model, but then it loses its action for that turn. Every other model can help to free the target from the grip of the tentacle. Roll an attack roll for every model that attacks the tentacle. At the end of the turn, roll a d6. If the number is lower than the number of succesful attacks, the target is free. If there was no model anchoring or attacking the tentacle, then the target is removed from the playing area.

Miniatures - 1/50-1/60 (28-32mm scale)

Civilians: Human-sized human civilians.

Tentacle monster: S10+ creature with tentacles.

* * *

Similar stories - Altitude, movie (2010)

Short stories

Richard Matheson: Nightmare at 20,000 Feet (1961): Set in a closed space (airplane), a man is afraid of flying, and sees supernatural things.


Michael Crichton: Sphere (1987): Set in a closed space (submarine), fears of the people are manifested, as they die one by one.


Before I Wake (2016): In a contemporary setting, the dreams of a kid manifest as reality.

Below (2002): In a World War 2 setting, set in a closed space (submarine), the people (crew) is afraid there is something supernatural at work.

Immanence (2022): In a contemporary setting, set in a closed space (boat), strange things happen, the people (crew) is afraid there is something supernatural at work, as they die one by one.

New Mutants (2020): In a contemporary setting, set in a closed space (school with a force field), the fears of a kid are manifested, as they die one by one.

Sphere (1998): In a contemporary setting, set in a closed space (submarine), fears of the people are manifested, as they die one by one. Based on the Sphere  novel from Michael Crichton.

TV series & episodes

Twilight Zone: Nightmare at 20,000 Feet (1963, 1983): Set in a closed space (airplane), a man is afraid of flying, and sees supernatural things. Based on the Nightmare at 20,000 Feet short story.

* * *

Frequently asked questions - Altitude, movie (2010)

Is the Altitude film based on a book or comics?

No, Altitude is not based on either books or comics.

Is there a post credit scene in Altitude?

No, there's no post credit scene in Altitude.

Where can I see Altitude? Where can I watch Altitude online? Is Altitude available on Netflix? Is Altitude on Amazon?

As of 2021.10.16, Altitude is on Amazon Prime Video, Apple Movies, Google Play, Vudu.

* * *

Resources - Altitude, movie (2010)




IMDB: Altitude (2010): Database article.

WikiPedia: Altitude (film): Database article.

Letterboxd: Altitude 2010: Database article.

Rotten Tomatoes: Altitude 2010: Database article.

TVTropes: Film / Altitude: Database article.


: Concept art article.¤

Reviews with no spoilers - Altitude film (2010)

: Review video about the Altitude film with no spoilers.¤

Reviews with spoilers - Altitude film (2010)

: Review article of the Altitude movie, with spoilers. Includes a very detailed plot summary.¤

Analysis - Altitude movie (2010)

: Analysis video, explaining the finale of Altitude.¤


* * *

Buying the product - Altitude, movie (2010)

* * *

Have you seen the Altitude film? How do you like the movie? Would you recommend it to others? Do you know reviews or resources you'd like to add? What further thoughts do you have about it? Tell your opinion in the comments!


Comments powered by CComment