Running Time: 99 minutes
UK Certificate: 15
Country: United Kingdom
The Scottish Highlands prove a beautiful place to picked off by snipers as they form the setting for A Lonely Place to Die- an impressive British thriller by Julian Gilbey who has finally made a decent film at the fourth attempt.
Here we have a group of five mountaineering friends – including Alison (George), the strongest climber and leader of the group and Alex (Sweeney), the tit of the group – who go on a climbing holiday in the Scottish Highlands. Their fun (when they’re not being mean to each other) is cut short when they find a young Serbian girl locked in an underground pit in the middle of nowhere. They rescue her but soon embark on a perilous game of cat and mouse with the kidnappers and also a group of mercenaries sent by the girl’s father to get her back.
The real star of A Lonely Place to Die is the cinematography as we see many breathtaking shots of the mountain scenery which are not disjointedly shown apart from the visitors but rather incorporated into scenes with them. The shots are not haphazardly taken but instead a real skill is shown in producing many scenes with vibrant colours and sharp focus. However, amongst many new faces are a few well-known actors and actresses like Melissa George, who is excellent as the strong lead and she creates someone who is really easy to care about. Also, the Czech actor Karel Roden once again pops up as a generic Eastern European baddie to add to his growing list of appearances in English language films (including the Hellboys and The Bourne Supremacy) and Stephen McCole does no harm in his latest attempt to forge his career in the movies after 2008’s impressive but untraceable Crying with Laughter.
The characters are a little one-dimensional as very little time is spent in setting the scene – the girl is discovered after only a few brief scenes. This way of doing it does come as a nice change though as it allows the momentum to gather quickly and the story to progress alongside the action. Horror rarely makes the preamble believeable or that interesting anyway.
It's Got: An exciting triple stranded story, a strong lead performance from George, beautiful cinematography
It Needs: More characterisation. Just a little.
Alternatives:Cliffhanger, Highlander, Sanctum, The Disappearance of Alice Creed
If beautiful scenery and excellent marksmanship are your thing then you will love this impressive British mountaineering thriller.