Julian Gilbey’s A Lonely Place to Die (2011)starring Melissa George, Ed Speleers, Eamonn Walker and Sean Harris – is yet another example of heavy marketing for a substandard product. The posters are everywhere and every time you click on a movie website, Melissa George in full climbing gear descends from the top of the screen. A Lonely Place to Die is the twisted tale of a bunch of climbers who stumble across and rescue a girl buried in a hole in the Scottish mountains. It turns out that the girl has been kidnapped by Mr. Kidd (Sean Harris) and then held to ransom. Of course, Kidd and his associate want her back in order to collect the cash, chasing the girl through the Highlands.

Admittedly, this isn’t the greatest premise in the world, but with a good script and assured direction, greatness was still reachable. Unfortunately for everyone concerned, A Lonely Place to Die has neither. After further researching the Gilbey brothers (the screenplay was written by Julian’s brother Will), I discovered that the siblings come from a long line of aristocrats. Money and contacts are the lifeblood of directors, and the industry is littered with the over-privileged. Most of the time, they have the talent to back it up but there are some rich kids (Brett Ratner for example) who regularly produce poor products and continue to find work. That said, there are some competent scenes and camera work in A Lonely Place to Die.

Melissa George was adequate in the lead role and should still be considered for better projects. Sean Harris is always solid, but he’s played the same weaselly villain too many times and Ed Speleers is in dire need of an acting refresher course. Julian Gilbey’s direction was just awful in places, and the director must have received a slow motion machine for Christmas because he uses it whenever he feels the urge. The script is too far-fetched, the killing spree of the ne’er do wells gets more and more ridiculous and when the action finally reaches a remote town, Gilbey seems to be under the impression he’s remaking The Wicker Man (1973). It’s safe to say that when the credits rolled I felt like I’d been duped.

Lee Cassanell