A Lonely Place to Die (2011) [REVIEW]

 

Two reasons as to why I was interested in watching this movie. Firstly, it popped up on a few horror blogs “best of the year” lists for 2011. That’s not saying too much, considering everything else that came out last year. Secondly, the title of this movie reminded me of A Horrible Way to Die, which was a movie I enjoyed, and clearly having similar titles lets me know it would be just as good. I didn’t know much about it, but I saw Melissa George was in it and she is kind of sort of gaining a reputation for being involved in horror films. She was in 30 Days of Night, which I enjoyed, and the remake of The Amityville Horror, which I didn’t care for. There’s a handful of other ones under her belt, but I really don’t know how I feel about her. I think she just has one of those faces that I confuse for other actresses who have done things I did enjoy, so I guess I’m just being tricked. Damn you, Melissa George. DAAAAAMN YOUUUUUUU!

 

How can it be lonely if you’ve got your pal right there with you!?

The movie starts off making you think it’s going to be some sort of inverted version of The Descent, where instead of cave adventuring there is a group of friends rock climbing. While these friends are rock climbing, they think they hear a noise, and when they pursue it, they discover a girl buried underground. She’s just a kid, and these people have no idea why she’s there, so three people take care of her while the two better climbers go off for help. One of the experienced climbers falls off a cliff, and the other experienced climber (Melissa George) notices his line didn’t snap, but has been cut. These people are being hunted! With guns! Someone wants the little girl! The friends are picked off, one by one, until two of the friends get her into town. Apparently this little girl was part of a giant kidnapping scheme, and the kidnappers need to have this girl to get their money. Eventually the girl is turned in and rescued and one of the kidnappers gets killed and the other kidnapper is captured by the girl’s father and Melissa George barely survives. Good job, Melissa!

 

I will admit that there was a pretty good misdirection as to the identity of the killers. We saw two guys hunting deer but kept jumping back to the hikers, making you think the deer hunters were the bad guys. Luckily, I’ve gone and spoiled that idea for you. You’re welcome!

I’m a big fan of The Descent and maybe it’s unfair to compare the two, but even Rampaige said, “Are there going to be monsters in this?” after the movie had been playing for about two minutes. The reason The Descent worked was because the filmmakers took the fear of being trapped in a cave and made the viewer uncomfortable and claustrophobic, then completely changed the tone of the film by throwing monsters in there. With this film, there didn’t seem to be any cohesion between anything going on and couldn’t focus on any specific scary idea. The opening involved a guy almost falling to his death, which was kind of scary, but then he was saved and they moved on. The kidnapper plot wasn’t scary, not to mention an entire subplot that involved cutting to the guys responsible for trading the money for the girl that made the movie confuse the viewer as to what the fuck was happening. There was one scene where Melissa George runs out of line while climbing down a cliff and just sits there for a few minutes, which was actually pretty creepy to think about. It would have been more similar to a movie like Frozen or like 127 Hours, but the idea of being stuck out on a cliff with no one to help you is way more intense than safely climbing down and having to run away from bad guys. It had its moments of tension, but those few moments don’t really compensate for not really caring about any of these people or the girl they’re trying to save. Oh yeah, and it was kind of weird how much Melissa George’s character fell in love with the little girl, for no apparent reason. At least The Descent had that whole “dead daughter” thing going for it, but in this movie, you just thought George’s character was a crazy cat lady trying to steal a daughter. Which reminds me that crazy cat ladies or anyone who likes cats more than dogs are awful and can go straight to hell.

 

Wolfman Moon Scale


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