A Lonely Place to Die (2011)

A group of mountain climbers enjoy a trip to the Highlands of Scotland . During a trek they find a young child buried alive in a chamber . The child who is from Eastern Europe and is obvious she’s been kidnapped . The group quickly come to realise that the kidnappers are nearby and will do anything to get the child back and eliminate any witnesses to their crime

Julian Gilbey had previously directed RISE OF THE FOOT SOLDIER which I rated as a very underrated movie . SOLDIER was a tough violent thriller and Gilbey showed shades of being perhaps a future British version of Scorsese . What stopped the movie from being a mini-masterpiece is that like so many British films that just fall short of greatness ( Hello Danny Boyle ) it’s a film of two halves . The first half charting the rise of Carlton Leach football hooligan to feared gangster then it effectively rights him out of the narrative and focuses on his associates who later became victims of a high profile mass murder . When this movie was released one wondered if Gilbey could make a more sustained focused film ? I don’t think he has

A LONELY PLACE TO DIE is a British answer to the backwoods brutality sub-genre horror movie with a rather obvious nod to John Carpenter . According to the trivia section on this page Gilbey took up rock climbing while making the film and it shows – perhaps too obviously as the first third of the movie has perhaps a few too many self congratulatory scenes featuring characters hanging off a ledge and it’s not until about 35 minutes in that the film plot proper starts to take off . Previous to this we have to put up with long dialogue heavy scenes that don’t add anything to the storyline

Sean Harris plays the main villain and I’ve always thought of him as being one of Britain’s most criminally underrated actors . He’s great at playing violent psychos and as can be expected here he’s not playing a romantic lead . Oh to have a scene where he has the heroine held at knifepoint growling ” Ah’m going to carve you up b*tch ” but this never happens because plotting takes precedence over casting and unfortunately the longer the film goes on the plot becomes more contrived and unlikely with people being in the right ( Or wrong place depending on how you look at it ) place and people reacting in ways that seem unlikely

A LONELY PLACE TO DIE is a relatively diverting thriller . It’s certainly not the most credible one you’ll see but there again who said movies had to be credible ? That said it is fairly uneven and you’re able to recognize the faults that should have been corrected at draft screenplay level . As it stands it’s a film that could have been better.

Review by Theo Robertson

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