Cinema Review – A Lonely Place To Die
This week we have a few films to watch at the cinema, first up is the survival thriller, A Lonely Place To Die
[imdb]tt1422136[/imdb] TITLE – [imdb:title] YEAR – [imdb:year] DIRECTOR – [imdb:director] CAST – [imdb:cast] WRITERS – Julian Gilbey, Will Gilbey
Now I am not one of those crazy EXTREME sports type of guys. The most extreme I get these days is buying Stella Artois instead of Carlsberg, but let me just say that buying the old ‘Paul Wellar’ is a very wild ride, that stuff is pure evil!! Anyway back to the subject, as I said I am not one of those guys that wants to throw myself off a cliff, or surf a wave or even in this case, climb a mountain. I do respect that breed of human greatly, to want to thrust their humanity on the harsh and unforgiving natural world. So easy does nature bite back.
‘A Lonely Place to Die’ opens with a scene that reminds us all how small we are. A group of climbers on a mountain in the Highlands of Scotland, Alison, Ed and Rob (Melissa George, Ed Speleers (yes Eragon lives!!) and Alec Newman) take a moment to photograph a Golden Eagle flying above them, a beautiful and elegant predator.To Alison and Ed this bird of prey is fascinating but it isn’t the only beautiful and elegant killer in these mountains. In an instant Ed slips and the couple are dangling for their lives as the Mountain roars to remind the climbers who is the boss. With stunning photography this scene sets up the film nicely and the Highlands have never looked better. But, the real story is yet to come….
The trio are headed to an isolated cabin to meet up with another couple, Alex and Jenny (Garry Sweeney and Kate Magowan). They have planned on a weekend of climbing and hiking through the stunning vistas of the Scottish highlands. We are still unsure of what type of movie this is going to be as the group head off for a day of trekking through the woods. Whilst eating lunch they hear strange voices coming through the isolated forest, so they decide to investigate. Then…. Actually, I am going to leave the rest up to you to find out.
To Summarize though – there is a terrified kidnap victim, coldblooded killers, stunning chase scenes, noble sacrifices, pig masks and fireworks….intrigued? Well, you should be.
Director Julian Gilbey, whose previous outing Doghouse did little for me, proves to be very adept at slowly cranking up the mystery then throwing the viewer into a hellish ride of suspense and tension. ‘A Lonely Place to Die’ is a subtle movie, but the beauty of it is that Gilbey has managed to keep it from being TOO subtle. A moment of serenity and silent panic can be shattered by a head exploding from a sniper rifle’s bullet, and you hardly notice the change of pace. I enjoyed this a lot. You never knew what was around the corner.
Melissa George does a great job as our extreme-sport-no-nonsense-climber-babe-come-heroine, but the best performance of the film for me, was from Speleers. Starting the film as annoying and cocky, but as the plot unfolds he develops the most of all the cast, turning into the type of level-headed hero you need in a situation like this. I find this a rarity in recent films. The ability to transform a character we hoped would die first in front of our eyes without us noticing, is quite a skill.
Another shout out has to go to Eamonn Walker, he doesn’t appear in the movie until about halfway through, but when he does he has such a ‘HARD-AS-NAILS’ presence that you accept him with open arms. I really like Walker and my only gripe with the movie is that he isn’t more involved. The final set piece hardly uses his skill set at all, which is a slight shame.
A Lonely Place To Die proves itself a very good and worthy thriller. Starting slow and building the plot from a very restricted view-point only made the reveal even more sweeter and shocking when it came. Full of beautiful vistas and high-octane set pieces that out weigh the small budget. Gilbey has certainly piqued my interest in future projects. This gentle and slow approach to a thriller ratchets to a crescendo that will make you gasp in fear and pleasure.
If it had found more funding and a bigger budget would it have been great instead of really good? Or would is the lower budget all part of the beauty of the film? I don’t know. All I can say is that if you are after a thrilling ride set against a stunning backdrop, then this is the film for you.
A LONELY PLACE TO DIE IS RELEASE NATIONALLY IN THE UK ON 7TH SEPTEMBER 2011
Are you a fan of extreme sports? What about Thrillers? Planning to check this movie out? Comment below….