“ Genre: Action & Adventure / Suitable for 15 years and over / Director: Julian Gilbey / Actors: Melissa George, Ed Speelers, Sean Harris, Kate Magowan, Karl Roden ... / DVD released 2011-12-26 at Kaleidoscope Home Entertainment / Features of the DVD: Dolby, PAL, Surround Sound, Widescreen „
* Prices may differ from that shown
Star - Melissa George
Genre - Horror/Action
County - U.K
Certificate - 18R
Run Time - 100 minutes
Blockbusters - £2.00 per night
Amazon - £5.00p DVD (£6.05 Blue Ray)
So, A Lonely Place to Die, a bold attempt by fledgling English director Julian Gilbey and his writer brother Will to bring us some American style rock climbing adventure to the more sedate and less action packed British cinema. Posh boy Gilbey's previous directorial cannon has been very much the cliché British 'shouty' crime flick, another Guy Ritchie pseudo cockney gangster in the making, and Like Ritchie, starting at the base to get that cool teen following and hope they will stay with him through his career catalogue to try his more challenging stuff. I'm not quite sure if the people who enjoyed Lock Stock have seen both Sherlock Holmes movies but we are glad Guy has left Vinnie Jones behind.
It's very much the manic pace of Cliffhanger meets the impending doom of The River Wild here with a shot of feminism from The Descent and a wee dram of Gilbey Scotch to make it his movie. But you have to be wary of British directors out to impress Hollywood with a small budget as they try to ape their hero's and make an American style thriller in a British location, not the done thing, why Guy Ritchie's Revolver, and the audience, lost consciousness half way through. I fear the same for Gilbey.
Alec Newman ... Rob
Ed Speleers ... Ed
Melissa George ... Alison
Kate Magowan ... Jenny
Garry Sweeney ... Alex
Holly Boyd ... Anna
Douglas Russell ... Hunter 1
Alan Steele ... Hunter 2
Sean Harris ... Mr. Kidd
Karel Roden ... Darko
Eamonn Walker ... Andy
Paul Anderson ... Chris
A group of five middle-class twentysomething climbers, Rob (Alec Newman), Ed (Ed Speleers), Alison (Melissa George), Ali (Kate Magowan) and Alex (Garry Sweeney), meet up in the Scottish mountains for a weekend of rock sport. After a nervous moment on the first climb on the slippery granite and moss we learn Alison is the best climber and a natural leader, dressing down Rob who made the mistake. But worse is to come when they stumble upon a bizarre scene in the woods after a good nights sleep, a young Eastern European girl entombed in a underground prison, only a breathing tube to attract attention to her whereabouts, clearly some kind of kidnap victim or sadistic imprisonment.
Little Anna (Holly Boyd) dose not know who put her there and tries to flee when the climbers release her. But whoever did imprison her is on their way back and the gang has to decide their course of action. They have no distress beacon and the mobile phone signal, as is always the case in the movies, patchy to non existent.
The nearest town is a good afternoons hike away and the weather is closing in fast and so they choose to split up, Ali and Ed going over the top of the rocks for the shorter route (any excuse to get them climbing) to get help and the other three the longer cross country route with the kid. But they have company, two ruthless hit men looking to grab Anna before the original kidnappers show. Once the cat is out of the bag that the kid has gone they make the climbers the target with hi-tech snipers rifles, one down and four to go when Ed's rope is cut and Alison takes a gnarly tumble. From then on in its race for survival as the body count rises.
Well it starts well, the characters and their foibles introduced nicely and the tension suitably cranked up all as we learn how bad the villain's are going to be. There is a suggestion early on that some of the good guys maybe bad and so a neat distraction. I do feel, though, if there is the slightest chance for the cast to be climbing some rock then out come the ropes and crampons on the director's orders and up they go, perhaps overused in context of the film as Gilbey seems to want to make the mountains the arbiter of the protagonists fete, when really the climbers should just be 'legging it' over the shortest and safest possible route. There are plenty of plot holes like that for the actors to misplace those crampons here. But there is nothing more foreboding and immoveable in your way in a film than an angry mountain being caressed by swirling ling wind and so the atmosphere maintained long enough by that impressive nature for this to be rentable.
Sadly in the second half it all falls apart and the plot, like the climbers, loses its grip and we all back plunge down the hill after getting to a decent height of expectation that this would be good. Gilbey just can't help resorting to type and soon we have long black leather jackets, guns and gangsters everywhere, the showdown in the village for the final third of the film ridiculous and extremely obtuse after the good work that had gone before. The director is also rather too keen on slow motion shots and booming soundtrack as the film descends into Hollywood territory. You don't have gunfights in small Scottish rural towns in the movies mate!
Yet again the theme of female emancipation is strong in a talked about new British horror/thriller after 'The Descent' hammered out a new template for British film on the importance of strong female characters in the lead role. Melisa George, the lady in question and the one that was in that confusing and somewhat silly BBC TV spy series called 'The Hunted', is again in the same sort of strong silent role here and maybe why she got this gig. She is as pretty as the scenery here although, like her oddball Scottish accent, she wilts as the film tails off into silly Hollywood shoot em up, where both director and actress clearly want to be, if you judge the way they work.
It cost £4 million to make and did a useful £25 million back and so appealing enough work for us to see more of the Gilbeys. And in austerity times making films that look mid budget on little money is exactly what Hollywood are looking for. He still needs to learn his craft and style more for me as this really did unravel as it tripped and stumbled to fall on its face in those plot holes. Like the Descent, this could have been a four star movie but lost its way in the damp Scottish hill fog and ended up a limp three.
Imdb.com - 6.3/10.0 (12, 588 votes)
Metacritc.com - 67% critic's approval rating
Rottentomatos.com - 77% critic's approval rating
Time Out - 'The film's relentless momentum, coupled with Ali Asad's breathtaking location photography, distract us from the often two-dimensional supporting characters'.
CNN - 'Despite the many faults with the story (particularly the logic), there's good action and the film moves well once it gets started. Lots of running, climbing and dodging bullets. You could do worse
Movies.com -'It's simply too good to label it a misfire, but the film starts from the gate with such a confident, breathless level of suspense that it's a shame that it can't be maintained'.
Arizona Republic - 'Part high-altitude adventure movie, part kidnapping caper film, "A Lonely Place to Die" is more exciting than smart, though that's not the worst thing you can say about a movie'.
Culture.com -'Five d***s go up a mountain. Far too many come down'.
Eyeforfilm.com - 'This is high-end cinema, let down only by the lack of any obvious subtext to earth all its on-the-edge thrills'.
= = = = = = = Special Features = = = = = = =
---Behind the Scenes---
The cast and crew talk about their movie.
---The Challenge of the Alps---
We learn the brothers learnt to climb over two years to prepare for the film. They achieved quite a rare feat of climbing The Alps most spectacle peaks over two weeks, including The Matterhorn and the Eiger.
= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =
RELEASED: 2011, Cert. 15
RUNNING TIME: Approx. 99 mins
DIRECTOR: Julian Gilbey
PRODUCER: Michael Loveday
SCREENPLAY: Julian Gilbey & Will Gilbey
MUSIC: Michael Richard Plowman
Melissa George as Alison
Eamonn Walker as Andy
Alec Newman as Rob
Ed Speleers as Ed
Sean Harris as Mr Kidd
Karel Roden as Darko
Garry Sweeney as Alex
Kate Magowan as Jenny
Stephen McCole as Mr Mcrae
Holly Boy das Anna
Paul Anderson as Chris
FILM ONLY REVIEW
Whilst on a climbing expedition in the Scottish Highlands, a group of three men and two women stumbles across an underground chamber in the woods, inside of which there is a terrified little Eastern European girl who seems unable to speak English.
The group's attempt to rescue the girl is seriously thwarted by the child's kidnappers, it becoming a very dangerous game in order to navigate the beautiful but treacherous terrain so as to the reach safety of the closest town.
A Lonely Place To Die begins very well. The sun is shining down on the breathtakingly majestic scenery of the Scottish Highlands.....nature at its very best.
Then follow some cleverly filmed shots of members of the expedition having difficulty negotiating a mountain face, which is so well done that my heart was lurching up into my mouth. My way of coping with that, as with anything in anything which I find difficult to watch, was to imagine the film crew standing around yelling "Cut!!!" every so often, the actors bumming their lines or collapsing into giggles, and the camera-man possibly lying on his back and rolling over in order to capture the scenes in such a way that it causes an edge of your seat sensation in the viewer.
When the group re-assembles at a remote stone cottage which they have hired, there are some minor squabbles, but such doesn't prevent them from continuing their mountaineering escapade.
During this part of the film, I was glued to the screen, watching with interest, especially after the group found the kidnapped child hidden in an underground dug-out chamber. However, from that point onwards and when the battle to escape the young girl's kidnappers began, my interest quickly started to wane, not because the film is boring - it is actually quite exciting if you are an avid action/adventure fan - it largely was down to becoming confused as to who was who and exactly what they were up to, plus I found the script very dry and uninteresting.
I'd describe all of the acting as barely moderate....acceptable (just!), but nowhere near to the standard which would make my mouth drop in amazed glory at what I was seeing on screen. A lot of the spoken dialogue was mumbled, especially from the point where the mountaineering group rescue the girl and onwards....mumbled to the point where I couldn't even catch just one or two words of what some of the actors were saying, so it is fair to assume that might be why I did lose the plot somewhat.
The music is rather good though, being largely orchestral and sounding quite urgent in places, upping the tension ante during the more gripping parts of the film. Close to the beginning is a beautifully sung traditional Celtic piece which is, probably intended with irony, so far away from the quite violent main body of the film. I suspect the placing of that wonderful piece of Celtic music at the start is supposed to offer a contrast between the peace and tranquil beauty of the geographic setting, and the high tension peppered with violence which happens as the little girl's kidnappers try to snatch her back.
As far as being an action/adventure film is concerned, A Lonely Place To Die has all the edge of your seat elements present, but the genre as a whole isn't one which I am usually entertained by. The best parts of the film for me were the scenery and some of the music, plus those quite clever camera angles which are only really present during the first 20 or so minutes.
There are elements of A Lonely Place To Die which, for the sake of providing the viewer with a meaningful experience as far as the action side of things is concerned, came across to me as rather unrealistic, particularly one scene close to the end. I can't go into too much detail about that as it'd be a definite spoiler, suffice to say that if what happens did in real life, those involved would have been affected differently by the occurrence. Along similar lines and looking back to the earlier part of the film, the viewer does witness some mountaineering/climbing mishaps, and as the storyline progresses, those coupled with later events create a conglomeration of disastrous situations which people recover from far too quickly.
I enjoyed the first part of A Lonely Place To Die quite a lot, even with the iffy dialogue and none too good acting, but found the remainder of the film throwaway, a little tedious and too confusing. It mostly came across to me as something similar to a 1980s American TV cop series, yet set in Scotland! However, I am glad that I watched it because rural northern Scotland is a part of the world that I feel a deep affinity with and it was good to be taken back there, even if only on screen.
In summary, A Lonely Place To Die I suppose is a brave effort, yet some of it came across as being fairly amateurish. I do feel though that it would appeal to people who like crime thriller films with lots of action....but not really my cup of tea at all, aside from the lovely scenery. Would I want to watch it again? No, I don't think so.
At the time of writing, A Lonely Place To Die can be purchased from Amazon as follows:-
New: from £4.70 to £18.72
Used: from £4.40 to £9.79
Collectible: Only one copy currently available (used) @ £5.99
A delivery charge of £1.26 should be added to the above figures.
Thanks for reading!
~~ Also published on Ciao under my CelticSoulSister user name ~~
On Sky Anytime at the moment, we fancied watching a film and as we had seen most of the films on Sky Movies settled on this film a little half-heartedly. In the end it turned out we both thoroughly enjoyed this thriller and were surprised that it had a decent storyline, decent acting and was all in all a decent film!
The film follows a group of five mountaineers in the Scottish Highlands who are all advanced climbers and hikers. They know what they are doing and impress with the sheer cliff faces that they are able to climb. It introduces the characters fairly slowly with a good mix of suspense in the opening scene with a potentially nasty fall from a cliff. When the story gets going they all set out for a long hike and a renowned deadly climb. Remote and desolate they have no one but each other, and then they start to hear noises in the woods. They soon discover a young girl buried in the woods underground but who has been kept alive. The group know she must have been kept alive for a reason and must get her to safety as soon as possible. The suspense starts pretty much straight away and when the group decides to split in order to cover ground faster and raise the alarm in the local town you know something is going to happen. I didn't expect what did eventually happen though and I did a rather noisy intake of breath in total surprise! A very good scene indeed!
The film is a cat and chase thriller and is filmed really well. The acting is good and not at all wooden. With a budget of $4million, its opening weekend sales of $176,000 must have been a real disappointment, but is by no means a reflection on the quality. Mellissa George is the main actress within the movie and you may recognise her from a number of films / TV shows including Paradise Lost, 30 Days of Night, Grey's Anatomy or Alias. She plays the believable Alison, a tough but likeable character; she knows how to climb and ultimately won't give up her survival without a fight. There are tense moments within the movie when the 'cats' get close to the 'mice' and it certainly kept me on the edge of my seat. Lots of unexpected shocks throughout also keep you on your toes. The lack of suspense music really does mean that some bits catch you out, so it's quite jumpy too. The villains as it were, are really creep and certainly believable.
The last British thriller / horror / suspense movie that really stood out for me was Eden Lake (which was fantastic - you must see this too!), and this was certainly on par with it. The pace after around 45 minutes really kicks in out of nowhere and keep kicking the audience in the teeth with characters losing their lives willy nilly, but in a quite original way - not a typical clichéd horror or thriller. I'm struggling to categorise this film - it doesn't really strike me as a horror, but the word thriller seems too serious. It's somewhere in the middle and definitely definitely worth 1hr 40 minutes of your time.
I had recommended the film to my cousin and she said she was disappointed with the ending, however I found the ending took what the viewer may consider as safe and turned it upside down. Just when you think the surviving characters have found the ultimate safety, the chase begins again, and this for me was what made the film frightening.
A Lonely Place To Die only made it on my list of movies to watch because it was set in Scotland and as so few movies are set up here I was curious to see what it would be like. It started off well but didn't live up to the promise it showed in the beginning.
===== Plot =====
The plot concerns a group of 5 friends who are in the remote Scottish highlands for a rock climbing weekend. Out in the wilderness the group hear a voice shouting for help that appears to be coming from the ground. They find a young Eastern European girl has been buried in a box in the ground with only an air pipe keeping her alive.
Not knowing who the girl is or why she has been buried in the ground the group take the young girl with them to get help at the nearest village. What follows is a cat and mouse chase with the people who put the girl in the ground in the first place.
===== My opinion =====
There are parts of a lonely place to die that work really well but there are other parts which are frankly ludicrous.
The beginning of the movie does a really good job of racking up the tension and I found myself on the edge of my seat as the group race through the forests and scale the cliffs of the highlands trying to evade the mysterious people who are chasing them trying to get the girl back. The film makes really good use of its location to get the heart rate going and I did find myself a few times wondering how the group were going to get past a particularly difficult terrain.
The men chasing the group are kept pretty much in the background to begin with and this works much better than when we find out more about them as this takes a lot of the mystery away and I personally would have preferred it had the film just focussed on the girl and the group and not spent as much time with the kidnappers and shown us their perspective.
There is also a second group of people who are interested in the girl but this group is trying to get her back from the kidnappers.
The film would have worked much better if it had been just a straight cat and mouse thriller with the group trying to escape the clutches of the kidnapers but it turns into some sort of die hard clone and at one point I was almost expecting Bruce Willis to show up with a machine gun.
The film is a low budget thriller and personally I found that it had too much going on for it to be effective and by the end even through there was loads going on I found myself bored compared to the beginning which had held my interest so well.
The film does have two big things going for it. The first is the highland scenery which is absolutely stunning and really gives the film a cinematic feel. The film makers really make use of its location and I was left wondering why more films aren't set here as it really does lend itself well to movie.
The second thing the film had going for it was Melissa George. I remember her when she played Angel in Home and Away and over the years she has quite often been the best thing in several bad movies. The same again happens here and I wish she could find a film that was worthy of her talents. She goes from a Lara Croft type of figure to a protective mother figure with ease and she was probably my favourite thing about the film.
When the film goes wrong is in its script which just has so much going on that I was left confused at points by who was who and what exactly was going on. As I said I personally think it would have been much better as just a small chase thriller through the stunning location but this obviously isn't what the film makers had in mind. God knows what exactly it is that they were going for but because of the different threads in the movie it ended up a confused mess. I appreciate they were going for something a little bit more ambitious but it just didn't work.
There are some really ludicrous parts of the film. The body count is ridiculously high and I was left feeling just how unrealistic this was.
There is also a part when they reach the remote village which seems to be some buzzing metropolis and not some tiny little village in the middle of nowhere. I think the film makers mistook the little village for New Orleans during Mardi Gras. The village is having a parade but I have never seen a festival like it in my life. I don't think bare chested woman smeared in paint and eating fire really is a common site on parades in Scotland. There is also a real pagan look to this parade which is just a cliché and again unrealistic.
There is also a bumbling village police man who doesn't bat an eyelid at injured people showing up at his station with such a bizarre tale. This was one cliché too far for me and I nearly turned the film off in disgust.
As you can tell I wasn't a big fan of this film. I found it to be watchable but I think I was so annoyed with it as there was so much potential in the film that was just completely squandered. It had the potential to be a really good thriller but was ruined by overambitious film makers and a weak script. I wouldn't say this is the type of film that you should buy as it has no replay value but it might be worth a watch if you are looking for a film to rent one night. It isn't a great movie and there are many worse ones out there but it did leave me disappointed and it isn't one that I would bother watching again.
===== DVD extras =====
This is another DVD that I bought on spur because it was really cheap and I had been wanting to watch it for a while. I have to say that the film wasn't interesting enough for me to want to watch the extras that come on the DVD but for those of you that might be interested it does come with a feature on the making of the film which lasts over an hour another feature on the director climbing a mountain, a directors commentary and a theatrical trailer.
===== Runtime and availability =====
The runtime of the movie is only 99 minutes but I felt that it lasted longer than this due to it dragging along at the end.
It is widely available and can be bought for £6.49 on Amazon and only a pound more for the Blu Ray version.
Ok, here goes...my first film review...eek!
(Film only review)
On a recent wet Saturday afternoon we decided to have a blitz of our local Blockbusters and have a film fest to make the most of being stuck indoors without having to resort to cleaning, decorating or ironing! One of the films we chose was A Lonely Place To Die. Admittedly, this was mostly my choice as, unlike most other couples we know, I am the action movie fan whilst my other half usually goes for more arty farty "with artistic integrity" type films. I'm gradually teaching him that sometimes it's ok to watch something just for sheer enjoyment and escapism and not everything has to "make you think"! So we settled down to watch this, number 2 in our hoard.
A group of 5 mountaineers are enjoying a break in Scotland with plans to 'bag some munroes'. On their first outing they hear a noise during a drinks break and a brief investigation reveals a little girl in obvious distress trapped in a box underground with only a pipe to provide her with air. She has no water, no food and is in school uniform. Determined to get her to safety, but in the middle of nowhere, they set off to the nearest town but quickly realise they're not alone out there. I don't want to tell you any more as it would spoil things if you decide to watch it yourself.
I found these to be slightly confusing. We start with two men and a woman climbing a rock face. The woman (Melissa George) has obviously climbed with one of the men before and knows him quite well, but doesn't seem to know the other one as well, or like him much either. This is further exacerbated when they have a potentially fatal accident whilst climbing. They later meet up with another couple at their holiday cottage and there is immediate tension between several members of the group and it is never explained how they all know each other and why they're holidaying together. I for one didn't understand why, when there was obvious tension and dislike between certain members, they would choose to do a trust-dependent activity like rock-climbing with each other! First unbelievable aspect.
Having said that, the relationships between them do develop well and much more believably when they are thrust into a tense and dangerous situation, with the inevitable arguments and disagreements about how best to proceed. What I did find slightly incredulous was that one of the male characters wanted to leave the little girl where she was and carry on with their trip. Second unbelievable aspect! Rapidly followed by the adults deciding to split up to make a potential rescue faster. Third unbelievable aspect!
The acting was very good overall, if slightly let down by gaps in the story, by a mostly unknown (to me) cast, including Melissa George, Kate Magowan (the only two I recognised), Ed Speelers and Sean Harris. The portrayal of the little girl I thought was particularly well-acted by Holly Boyd.
The film gathered pace quickly and definitely kept me gripped and on the edge of my seat. In some ways it was exactly the kind of film that I like (think Die Hard, Behind Enemy Lines, Taken...yes, I'm an action junkie!) and, whilst I understand and appreciate that reality sometimes has to take a backseat for the sake of excitement and tension, I don't like it when things turn out to be totally unbelievable. Unfortunately this film quickly descended into farce the closer it got to the end with more guns and fire than even John McClanes worst shoot out - all this in the remote Scottish Highlands remember!
This film started off very promisingly and I was quite excited by the thought of watching it. The cinematography was excellent with no need to rely on computer generated whoop de doos. The director relied on lots of close up shots and enough artistic filming to keep the hubby happy. With plentiful aerial shots of the beautiful landscape you really got a feel for the remoteness and beauty of where they were (incidentally, the location of our wedding, one of the reasons we chose the film in the first place!) and the close ups helping to maintain the tension and overall threatening atmosphere.
Unfortunately, the further along in the story we got, the more totally unbelievable the plot became and by the time the final scenes came around I was feeling thoroughly short changed. I'd had such high hopes for this film, but at the end of it my husband got the chance to utter those inevitable-argument-provoking words "I told you so"!!!
Film Only Review:
A friend gave me this 2011 release 'A Lonely Place To Die' to watch recently. I'd never heard of the title and when the credits rolled the only cast members I'd heard of were Home and Away's Hollywood success Melissa George and the cooler than cool Eamonn Walker. Since I knew nothing about the movie I was somewhat dissapointed when the initial scenes seemed to indicate this was going to be a B-list version of the James Franco film '127 Hours'. However, I thought I'd continue to watch what I imagined was going to be a standard (but possibly dull) rock climbing drama just in case it offered something different. I'm glad I kept watching as the film turned out to be much more than just a rock climbing ordeal and turned into a fairly exciting and watchable thriller which entertained me for the night!
The story involves a group of rock climbers who are having an exciting adventure in the Scottish Highlands. Melissa George accompanies one other female friend, her husband and two other guys in this journey to the back of beyond. The opening of the film sees the group interacting and reveals the intimacies between the characters. Although there is a hint of romance between George's character and one of the men it is never fully explored in the early stages when the relationship might have been nurtured, something which I found dissapointing. It's also a little distracting at first because we have many different accents to contend with. I found it difficult to understand a lot of the dialogue because of some of the broad accents whilst Melissa George affects an odd sounding hybrid accent that lends from American, Australian and British.
The first five or ten minutes of the film is a little bit dull, to be honest. This is in part to the fact that none of the actors apart from George are particularly dynamic. The two male pals of George's character Alison are a bit similar to look at and I mixed them up a few times. Neither of them were playing a character that I thought was memorable or unique. One thing that impresses early on is the cinematography. I did not really believe some of the footage of the mountains and wildlife was filmed in Scotland. I figured they must have used somewhere with a more dramatic landscape like Canada. It looks great and there are some fantastic and awe-inspiring shots. It's not just beautiful either - the land fast becomes a terrifying character in the film.
Despite my initial reservations something happens as the group embark on their trip that is chilling and disturbing and which quickly transforms this movie into a terrifying race against time and a battle against nefarious figures. This initial event plays out like a horror movie and really sent chills down me. What's great is that who the baddies are is not intially obvious as the bleak mountainside starts to become a little more populated.
There are some really harsh scenes of violence and exciting chase scenes which make the fight for survival very watchable and despite not knowing much about the character I really got behind Alison and hoped that she would make it. I liked that there are lots of twists and turns which continued even when you imagine the lead characters have finally been rescued.
I did find myself whilst watching this laughing a little at how Scotland and Scottish culture is portrayed. The characters, for instance, find themselves in a remote village where there is only one policeman in charge of the station. However, there are enough people to stage a street carnival where men seem to be dressed as Mel Gibson's Braveheart and the women dance around topless (really?!) in devil costumes. It's quite unrealistic and made me smile, having holidayed up there and seen nothing more exciting than grannies in head shawls showing off their home made shortbread.
The last thirty minutes of the film are fast and furious and I really loved the action, the intensity and the drama. I am a fan of Eamonn Walker and wished he'd been given a little more to do though. Melissa George is great however and plays the struggling and determined heroine very well. The end is very satisfying although at this stage once more I found myself picking over the details of the unrealistic representation of Scottish policing etc. I guess this wouldn't be an issue if I was anything other than from the UK. Perhaps I just need to embrace the imaginative creation here!
Ultimately it's a good film and totally watchable all the way through. I felt like I was along for the ride and the tension and drama was thrilling throughout. I would have liked to have seen a few more familar faces in the mix and some rather more memorable actors playing the roles of the climbers. However, you can't fail to support the protagonist and her heroic goal. I would give the film a 6 1/2 out of 10.
It is available to buy on DVD and blu-ray.
A Lonely Place to Die (2011)
Running time: 95 minutes
A group of mountaineers are exploring the Scottish Highlands when they hear the sound of a disembodied call for help. Finding the source they discover a young girl buried in an underground box with just an air pipe for oxygen and no visible signs of food and water. They figure out that the girl is Eastern European, she doesn't speak or understand English but is clearly distressed and needs help. What the group of explorers don't know though is that the girl is a kidnap victim and is being held to ransom and by helping her they're putting themselves in danger. The girl's kidnappers are not just going to stand around and watch their hostage be saved and will stop at nothing to retrieve her from the hands of her rescuers. Will the girl get to safety and why was she being held against her will? A Lonely Place to Die has the answers if you want to find out...
I read the synopsis for this film on amazon's website and liked the sound of it; described as a quick moving, action packed, cat and mouse thriller I placed my order and looked forward to watching the film and whilst I would agree that there are some thrilling elements to the film my interest waivered mid way through the action. It's quite an ambitious storyline and rather than being straight forward there are twists and turns throughout the 99 minute running time which left me feeling bewildered at times and had me wondering if I had missed something.
We are introduced to three groups of people, the mountaineers who find the girl, the kidnappers who want to stop her from reaching safety and finally the girl's father and the people around him. We soon learn that the girl has a multi-million pound ransom on her head and her father is a wealthy man with criminal connections and whilst these characters are introduced and their back-stories explored the story flits from one set-up to another. The girl is rescued early on in the film and I figured the storyline would follow her and her rescuers as they struggle to reach safety and for the opening third of the film this is what happens. There are some genuinely tense moments where they are nearly caught and these do make for some exciting sequences but when the focus then shifts onto the background behind the girls father and his connection with the kidnappers the film lost its impetus and became confusing and hard to follow for me. It's certainly not a bad film and had it been presented as a straight cat and mouse thriller I do think it would have been a lot better and a lot less confusing, important characters are killed off unexpectedly and there is a real sense of jeopardy when this happens as it stops the film from being too formulaic and you genuinely don't know if the rescue attempt is actually going to work.
There's plenty to admire with the film, the cast is impressive and do give some powerful performances. Melissa George who plays Alison is probably the best known of the bunch and she is excellent in her portrayal of one of the girl's rescuers and you do root for her character. Her friends are equally good as the 'mice' in the cat and mouse pursuit sequences and the peril they face is well pitched and exciting enough to really draw you in. It's the last 40 minutes or so that let the film down for me after a significant event occurs in the action (which I won't discuss as it could be considered a spoiler) and from then onwards the film seems to just lose its way and stops being exciting. It seems to limp towards the end rather than building in intensity and finishes on an unexpected bleak note which didn't really sit very well with me and I do think that this was a conscious decision by the film makers to try and provide something a little bit different to what the audience probably expected but ultimately I don't think that it actually worked.
It's an odd film for me to recommend to other people as it could and should have been a lot better than it actually was and whilst the opening is strong and really draws you in to the story it ended up being a let down for me at the end and left me feeling disappointed with it overall. It's probably worth a rental rather than a purchase although there are plenty of extra's on the retail version of the film that some people may appreciate and you do get plenty for your money should you decide to buy the film for yourself.
Included as extras are:
The Making of A Lonely Place to Die (70 minute running time)
The Challenge of the Alps - Director Julian Gilbey climbs The Matterhorn and The Eiger (17 minutes)
Director's Audio Commentary
I haven't watched any of these though to be honest as I'm not usually bothered about the extras on film releases so can't comment if they're any good or not but at least they're there if anyone does want to see them. Because I ended up feeling disappointed with the film I wasn't that interested in finding out more but their inclusion may be beneficial to some people.
My 3 star rating here goes to show my indifference to the film, it started off strongly but seemed to lose its way towards the end and I do think that it could have been a lot better than it actually was. There are some exciting moments which do draw you in but overall I was left feeling confused and disappointed. I wouldn't watch it again and I can't give a high recommendation to the film but it may well appeal to some and its on that basis that I would recommend this title as far as dooyoo's rating criteria goes but only half-heartedly.
Thanks for reading my review.