MFR Rating: ★ ★ ★
Lacking any big name actors, A Lonely Place to Die follows a group of hikers and climbers around the marvelous setting of the Scottish highland before they make a discovery, upsetting a criminal process and catching themselves in the crossfire. Things quickly spiral into an action packed thriller, full of guns, chases and literal cliffhangers.
The characters and dialogue immediately feel realistic at the beginning so it’s a shame so much of the film is punctuated with moments whereby disbelief has to be suspended to an alarming level. The film’s tone feels rather muddled at times, shifting from the gritty to the unbelievable with a flick of a switch, but it does manage to keep you on the edge of your seat. It’s unforgiving in its disposal of characters, but it’s just a pity this is often undermined when other characters suffer incredible falls but then get up and carry on like it was nothing. Sometimes everything has a terrible consequences and sometimes the characters turn into action heroes, which does prevent the film from quite reaching its heights.
In terms of performances, none of the actors are really allowed to shine because it introduces a strong, unrelenting pace, which unfortunately compromises character development. But you never know quite where it’s going and it is quite good fun. Director Julian Gilbey is provided with a real freedom, aided by the gorgeous highland landscape the film encompasses. It’s a decent effort and has a nice raw energy about it, you just feel it could have been even better.
A Lonely Place to Die is out on 7th September in the UK and out on 11th November in the US. Running time: 99 mins. Certificate 15 (UK).
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Review by David Rank