HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
Nest, The
Martin Eden
Halloween Kills
Cicada
Sun Shines Bright, The
Last Thing Mary Saw, The
Comets
Herself
Mon Oncle d'Amerique
Wild Strawberries
Runner, The
Don't Look Up
Ghostbusters: Afterlife
Eternals
Forever Purge, The
Memoria
Venom: Let There Be Carnage
Legend of La Llorona, The
Japon
Glasshouse
Perdita Durango
Commando, The
Woodlands Dark and Days Bewitched: A History of Folk Horror
Boiling Point
Malignant
Deadly Games
Ailey
Voyeurs, The
Beyond the Infinite Two Minutes
In the Earth
Hiroshima Mon Amour
Hotel Poseidon
Zola
No Time to Die
Klaus
Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Journey
Candyman
Power of the Dog, The
StageFright
Voyage of Time: An IMAX Documentary
   
 
Newest Articles
Super Sammo: Warriors Two and The Prodigal Son on Blu-ray
Sex vs Violence: In the Realm of the Senses on Blu-ray
What's So Funny About Brit Horror? Vampira and Bloodbath at the House of Death on Arrow
Keeping the Beatles Alive: Get Back
The Punk Rock Movie: Out of the Blue on Blu-ray
Yeah, Too Quiet: The Great Silence on Blu-ray
Vestron Double Bill: Dementia 13 and The Wraith
Farewell Dean Stockwell: His Years of Weirdness
Kung Fu Craft: Cinematic Vengeance! on Blu-ray
999 Letsbe Avenue: Gideon's Way on Blu-ray
Hungary for Cartoons: Hungarian Animations on MUBI
You Have No Choice: Invasion of the Body Snatchers on Blu-ray
You Can't Tame What's Meant to Be Wild: The Howling on Blu-ray
Commendably Brief: Short Sharp Shocks Vol. 2 on Blu-ray
Super Silents: Early Universal Vol. 2 on Blu-ray
Fable Fear: The Singing Ringing Tree on Blu-ray
Gunsight Eyes: The Sabata Trilogy on Blu-ray
Bloody Bastard Baby: The Monster/I Don't Want to Be Born on Blu-ray
Night of the Animated Dead: Director Jason Axinn Interview
The ParaPod: A Very British Ghost Hunt - Interview with Director/Star Ian Boldsworth
On the Right Track: Best of British Transport Films Vol. 2
The Guns of Nutty Joan: Johnny Guitar on Blu-ray
Intercourse Between Two Worlds: Twin Peaks Fire Walk with Me/The Missing Pieces on Blu-ray
Enjoy the Silents: Early Universal Vol. 1 on Blu-ray
Masterful: The Servant on Blu-ray
   
 
  Lonely Place to Die, A
Year: 2011
Director: Julian Gilbey
Stars: Melissa George, Ed Speleers, Alec Newman, Gary Sweeney, Kate McGowan, John Harris, Karel Roden
Genre: Horror, Action, ThrillerBuy from Amazon
Rating:  7 (from 1 vote)
Review: You'd wonder what goes through the head of extreme sports enthusiasts before they embark upon a death-defying weekend excursion exploring some dank chthonian abyss or scaling a windswept rock face in the forsaken back of beyond.

The risks of plummeting to certain doom or losing a limb are surely the least of their worries? That heretofore unexplored cave system could contain devolved cannibalistic mutants baying for blood. That snow capped peak might be host to a ruthless gang of killers searching for their airplane-jettisoned loot. Even an innocuous river-rafting trip may end in ritualised degradation, sodomy and a spot of murder. Indeed, the movies have taught us that if we don’t succumb to the natural perils of the great outdoors some axe-wielding psycho/feral hick/undead fiend will surely have our guts for garters.

Following the overwrought soccer-cretin Biopic “Rise of the Footsoldier” director Julian Gilbey seeks to stake a claim in the backwoods survival genre with his fourth feature, “A Lonely Place to Die”.

Five mountaineering buddies unwittingly stumble upon a terrified Serbian waif (Holly Boyd) buried within a chamber in the wilds of the Scottish highlands. Resolving to bring her to safety the gang sets off for civilisation but the unsavoury duo that put her in the ground has other ideas. So begins a desperate fight for survival as our protagonists face the wrath of rifle-wielding kidnappers all the while braving the pitfalls of an unforgiving environment.

Characters here aren’t your usual fleshy marionettes waiting to have their narrative strings cut in service of the body count; Gilbey takes time introducing his unfortunates giving them just enough depth so as to ensure a modicum of viewer empathy before the beastliness begins. No stranger to the rigours of Brit indie horror the always bankable Melissa George plays experienced climber Alison and brings a credible physicality to her role as the child’s most determined protector. There’s Jack-The-Lad pretty boy Ed (Ed Speleers) providing a nice contrast to Alec Newman’s earnest team leader Rob. Husband and wife pair Alex (Gary Sweeney) and Jenny (Kate Magowan) complete the quintet.

While performances are sturdy from all quarters it’s the perennially villainous John Harris who steals the show as migratory abductor Mr. Kidd. What could have been a snarling two-dimensional caricature is imbued with an unnerving pathos by Harris as his kiddie-snatcher chillingly recounts the consequences of a ransom gone awry for one young prisoner in the films standout exchange.

Gilbey must be commended for achieving a slick big budget look without the big budget. There’s a vertiginous virtuosity to the cinematography from his spectacularly shot opening mountaineering vignette to some frenetic hilltop scrambles employing head-mounted POV cameras. Technically the film is very accomplished, its climbing portions convincing. Gilbey also shows restraint in his use of aerial shots, not ramming the awe-inspiring quality of the scenery down our throats till the impact is exhausted unlike a certain other highland chase flick (ahem Centurion).

Unfortunately a shift in the proceedings from the wilderness to the urban confines of a small town playing host to a folk festival is rather jarring and breaks an otherwise snappy pace. There’s nothing wrong with a blistering crescendo save when it’s so tonally adverse to the low-key cat and mouse brutality which has preceded it. Gilbey sees fit to indulge in some Hollywood bombast as Alison and her young charge are hunted through the streets by Mr. Kidd’s brutish accomplice who has no reservation at randomly shotgunning revellers. Cartoonishly upping the kill count doesn’t generate more excitement, instead destroying the gritty sense of reality which the piece has been striving so hard to effect.

The reliance upon gaudy shooting gallery mechanics for the final act highlights the depressing fact that despite being engaged by the narrative we haven’t really seen anything new. There’s no discernable subtext. It’s no revisionist chase movie. It doesn’t smash the template and use the pieces to craft something staggeringly original and audacious. Will it be revered in 20 years time as a genre landmark? It’s safe to say no. But what it does it does well. A group of goodies must get a young girl to safety as the baddies try to stop them. It holds your attention. It’s competently acted and well shot. An altogether serviceable entertainment, like the rock faces scaled by its harried protagonists “A Lonely Place to Die” is nothing if not solid.
Reviewer: Rónán Doyle

 

This review has been viewed 2717 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Andrew Pragasam
Darren Jones
Jason Cook
Enoch Sneed
  Desbris M
  Paul Tuersley
  Chris Garbutt
   

 

Last Updated: