Sunday, 4 September 2011



The closing film of this year's Frightfest was not a horror movie, although it does have a horrible idea at the centre of it: vivisepulture. Rather, it's an outdoors action thriller with some painful physical violence that unfortunately gets more unlikely as it goes on. But so what? You Only Live Twice, Star Wars and Re-Animator are wildly unlikely to start with; that doesn't mean they can't be fun and entertaining and well made movies. And this IS a fun and entertaining and extremely well made movie with only a couple of "hang on a moment" moments to distract.

A Lonely Place To Die actually boasts a very simple setup, with a group of friends gathering together to climb a peak in the Scottish highlands: while traversing the woodlands they suddenly hear a voice, and find an airpipe in the ground. Someone has buried an eight-foot box under the remotest area of wilderness imaginable and placed an eight-year-old girl inside it. Who? Why? They rescue the child but then find armed gunmen - professionals - tracking them with high-powered rifles. They want the girl back and will do anything to get her....

It makes for an exciting thriller with several scenes of people either hanging off mountains or falling off mountains, Melissa George in skintight mountaineering trousers and plummeting through the rapids. Credibility is stretched a little here: as one who'd no more go orienteering than I would set myself on fire, I don't really know the chances of serious injury after some of these falls: I'm surprised they're able to walk or even move afterwards (specifically Melissa George's high tumble, and a man's long roll down a hill clutching the terrified child). But that's nitpicking, really. In the real world, John McClane wouldn't have survived more than 40 minutes of Die Hard and James Bond would have been dead by the second reel of Goldfinger. A Lonely Place To Die isn't reality, it's a movie, and it's a cracking action thriller that's well worth seeing.


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