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Lonely Place to Die, A


Stars: Melissa George, Ed Speleers, Sean Harris, Eamonn Walker, Kate Magowan, Karel Roden, Alec Newman

Director: Julian Gilbey

You can't help feeling that, if the pivotal event here hadn't happened, dozens of people would still be alive but, even so, this is a good British thriller with sweaty, non-stop suspense and action, even if a good few of its loose ends remain unresolved.

A group of climbers in the Scottish Highlands, having just survived a near-fatal accident, discover a young girl trapped in a chamber just below the ground. Unbeknown to them the girl, who is unable to speak English, was being held hostage by two ruthless kidnappers who have snatched her from a former Serbian warlord.

While the kidnappers chase the climbers and pick them off one by one, they themselves are hunted by rescuers hired by the Serb.

The Highlands is a vast place, but everyone seems to converge on one area, including army-clad hunters who are summarily dispatched by the kidnappers when the survivors end up at a local pagan festival that resembles something out of The Wicker Ma , where all hell breaks loose...

Leading lady George is sturdily on the mark as the climber obviously destined to be last man standing, and there are really good supporting performances by Walker, as the chief mercenary hired by the Serbs, and especially Harris, who offers another of his evil weasels as the brains behind the kidnap.

We never find out who cut the rope that led to the first climber's death, or why the girl doesn't seem to be reunited with her father at the end. Unconcerned with such niceties, the director, who doubled some of the climbing scenes himself, concentrates on fast-moving thrills amid stunning scenery. In this respect, his film's a winner.

David Quinlan

UK 2011. UK Distributor: Kaleidoscope. Colour by Soho Film Lab.
101 minutes. Not widescreen. UK certificate: 15.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 1, Violence/Horror 2, Drugs 0, Swearing 2.

Review date: 06 Sep 2011