July 27, 2015

A Lonely Place to Die

Julian Gilbey, 2011
Lonely starts off with one of the main characters suspended incredibly high on the face of what seems like an endless cliff over the rough Scottish Highlands. On top of the world, but also other-worldly. The conditions are completely treacherous, unforgiving, unpredictable as we see quite early on in the film. It doesn't take long for the film to feel non-American, in a good way. The group of adventurers drinks whiskey, plays cards, and instead of it being all lovey-dovey between them where everyone is friends and all of the couples pair off and make love, there is some real tension. It feels very organic in that sense. Sometimes when you meet people for the first time, get drinking, you find that you might not like a specific person all of that much. It plays with this, and assuming that you have already discovered the plot of the film and putting you in a situation that you aren't exactly sure who to get behind. 

The film takes a turn away from a Vertical Limit-type film to an action thriller / kidnapping / human trafficking film and it's done quite effectively. When you are introduced to the villains, you are introduced to two cold-blooded killers. An emptiness in their eyes that's completely unnerving. The two actors, Sean Harris and Stephen McCole, resemble a murderous version of Vice founder Shane Smith and a psycho Simon Pegg. The story makes sudden turns and morphs into different genre forms. Great camera work, good acting, and good direction keep you engaged through the 99 minute running time. Certainly a story of vulnerable people in the crosshairs of people who are VERY familiar with the terrain. Sort of like Deliverance in that sense. Sort of like Deliverance meets Cliffhanger, something along those lines. Maybe it's the use of lesser known actors. Maybe it's using the intimidating Scottish Highlands as the film's backdrop. But so much of the film feels unique and interesting. The nighttime parade sequence added a creepy element to the already tense finale of the film.

Always a good idea to spend a little time searching through Netflix, especially through some of the foreign titles. Every now and then you will find a lesser known title like this one that is worth the watch. 

No comments:

Post a Comment