Sunday, 4 September 2011

A Lonely Place To Die - Fright Fest Review #5

From Director Julian Gilbey comes this taught, tense thriller set in the highlands of Scotland.  A group of climbers make a startling discovery buried in a small chamber in the wilderness.  That of a small Serbian girl.  Not knowing why she was there or who put her there, they take it upon themselves to get her to safety.  This starts a chilling chase, putting them all in grave danger without even knowing why.  What would you do?

The film opens with stunning shots of the Scottish Highlands, beautifully captured and just dripping with the vast sense of disconnect from human contact.  This set up enables us to understand the degree to which these people are cut off which helps build the tension when trying to escape the attentions of the mysterious, unseen enemy that wants the girl back.

Melissa George is superb in her role as Alison making it easy for us to believe she would take the actions she chooses to take.  This is central to the film keeping us willing to go along with it.  Without that suspension of disbelief you lose the tension and excitement that this film delivers in droves. 

The plot is straightforward and this allows the film to concentrate on the characters and the action.  Both of which are handled expertly, persuading us to care about what happens to the climbers and the girl.  The action is never over the top and not filled with super slo mo running and an excessive amount of explosions.  Instead it keeps it grounded and uses the antagonists coldness and ease of taking a human life to ratchet up the tension. 

To the films credit, even when it enters a potentially formulaic ending sequence, it manages to keep the feel of the helplessness of our protagonists even when moving the action into a more populated area.  The side story of a money exchange could have detracted from the build up being created following Alison but it was inter-cut into the action at the right times meaning that both were able to run alongside each other until their inevitable and bloody interception. 

As I mentioned in my synopsis, this also raises a very interesting question... what would you do?

This is one of the best British thrillers I have seen, never finding myself bored or detached from the action I wouldn't hesitate to recommend this film.


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