A Lonely Place to Die (2011) is an action-adventure/thriller film directed by Julian Gilbey.
The plot entails a group of climbers finding a kidnapped girl buried underground, with a pipe extending to the surface to give the girl air to breathe. As the group attempts to bring the child to safety, the kidnappers literally hunt the group down one by one. It's a bit more complex than this, however.
Proving to be both critically and commercially successful, the film features Melissa George, Ed Speleers, Kate Magowan, Alec Newman, and Garry Sweeney as our doomed protagonists, Sean Harris and Stephen Cole as the kidnappers, Holly Boyd as the girl, and Karel Roden, Eamonn Walker, and Paul Anderson as associates of the girl's father attempting to negotiate her rescue.
This film provides examples of:
- Action Survivor: Alison finds herself in several dangerous situations, but does what it takes to survive.
- Asshole Victim: Subverted. Alex seemed like an asshole, but he ultimately sacrifices himself to help the remaining group escape the kidnappers.
- Played straight with child kidnapper and killer Mr. Kidd when Anna's father has him stripped naked and tossed into a pit to be buried alive.
- Ax-Crazy: Mcrae is shown to be the more psychotic and murderous of the two kidnappers, unlike the sociopathic and pragmatic Mr Kidd. In the climax he flies in a violent rage killing not only his intended targets but also anyone who's an inconvenience and tries to stab Alison with his hunting knife.
- Big Bad Duumvirate: The kidnappers Kidd and Mcrae. They're equally dangerous opponents to the protagonists.
- Big Guy, Little Guy: The two kidnappers. Mcrae is tall and burly while Kidd is slender and athletic.
- Damsel in Distress: The mountaineers are trying to take Anna to safety.
- Daylight Horror: A bulk of the film takes place in broad daylight, but that doesn't make the situation any less dangerous.
- Decoy Protagonist: Rob seemed to step up as a leader... until he takes a dive off a cliff and becomes Victim #1.
- Dwindling Party
- Evil Is Petty: Mcrae kills a drunken bystander simply because he hugged him while intoxicated.
- Evil Sounds Raspy: Mr Kidd talks in a nasally and gravely voice. This seems Sean Harris' trademark.
- Final Girl: Alison outlives her friends and is tasked with killing the gunman who was after them, saving Anna in the process.
- Hero Killer: Despite having no apparent military background, the two kidnappers Kidd and Mcrae kills all the climbers except for Allison, some cops and one of the more highly trained mercenaries hired to rescue the girl.
- Hunting the Most Dangerous Game: After the heroes release Anna from the pit, the criminals who kidnapped her start to chase them around the mountains like they were real animals.
- Jerkass: Ed says a few obnoxious comments, but one could make a case that he's more of a Jerk with a Heart of Gold by the end.
- Lack of Empathy: Both the villains Kidd and Mcrae. Kidd in particular taunts a dying Alex after having him mortally wounded that that's the "price for [his] nobility".
- Language Barrier: Anna is Serbian and does not speak English, and is terrified of men. They eventually deduce that she was kidnapped at school given her uniform, being kept for ransom given that she was buried underground with a pipe extending to the surface to keep her alive.
- Let's Split Up, Gang!: After finding Anna, the group decides to split up to get help quicker. As the best climbers, Rob and Alison decide to go down a particularly dangerous cliff to save on time. Meanwhile, Ed, Alex, and Jenny stay with Anna on their longer route for eventual pick-up from Highlands Rescue.
- Malevolent Masked Man: Mcrae, in one scene while chasing Allison and Anna, covers his face with an evil-looking boar mask in order to hide himself within the crowd during the festival.
- Mama Bear: Jenny is set up to be this for Anna, but Alison is forced into this role after Jenny's sudden death.
- Monster Threat Expiration: Mr. Kidd and Mr. Mcrae range from being crack shots with their rifles to being hopeless marksman, depending on who they are shooting at. They are hopelessly unable to hit the fairly nearby heroine as she slowly climbs away from them in broad daylight, but a few hours later, Mr. Mcrae can effortlessly hit someone (twice!) through a window at night with fireworks going off around him.
- Police Are Useless: The group reaches the police station, where they want to be taken away by a different officer ASAP. However, they are forced to wait and wait and wait... until the snipers strike again.
- Say My Name: Anna! Anna! Anna!
- The protagonists find themselves in a particularly dangerous situation midway through the film during which they frantically shout each other's names.
- Scenery Porn: The Scottish Highlands are shown to be beautiful, yet incredibly dangerous.
- The Sociopath: Kidd and Mcrae, besides being serial child kidnappers, have no problems in killing any innocent bystanders with no remorse at all, and they're also willing to let the children die if their demands are not met.
- Soft-Spoken Sadist: The kidnapper Mr Kidd always talks in a chillingly calm tone of voice. This makes him quite frightening, especially when he talks about killing a young boy long ago when his ransom demand was not satisfied. He sounds so casual like he was just another day at work.
- Surprisingly Sudden Death: Several of the deaths are of this nature.
- Would Hurt a Child: Kidd coldly tells that some years ago he kidnapped a boy for ransom and when the parents tried to fool him by not paying he shot the boy as retribution, although admitting he did bond with the boy.
- Villain Decay: Mr. Kidd and Mr. Mcrae, most definitely. While aggressive and ruthless hunters initially, they start to be portrayed as inept, especially considering that they can't seem to retrieve Anna for ransom and attempt (unsuccessfully) to negotiate while she's at large.