"A Lonely Place to Die" opens with a beautifully lensed rock-climbing scene with some fucking breathtaking landscape photography (from a low-budget of $4M). Even being shot on a Red One Camera, the Scottish Highlands look gorgeous. And the opening scene is a real nail-biter. Alison (Melissa George) and Ed (Ed Speleers) prepare a leg of the climb with Rob (Alec Newman) waiting ahead. Distracted, Ed falls when Rob draws the rope. They eventually save Ed from dangling off a cliff and continue on their journey. Cut to the opening credits playing over ballad “The Burning of Achindoun” while the camera features the Highlands in all of their long-shot natural glory.
On their way to camp, Alison informs Ed that “complacency is a killer out here,” meaning he needs to pay more attention on their next ascent. They meet up with Jenny (Kate Magowan) and Alex (Gary Sweeney) and settle for a bit at a chateau. Alison has a nightmarish flashback to the accident while taking a bath. Later, the group plays cards. The next day, on their way to a climb, they discover an air pipe sticking out of the ground. After digging, they find little Serbian girl Anna (Holly Boyd) buried alive in a small confined space. Rob decides to take Alison to scale a dangerous face in order to get help as quickly as possible. He instructs the others to take a longer trail to the closest village. During the climb down, a stranger cuts Rob’s rope mid-climb and he plummets to his death. A minor avalanche also causes Alison to fall, but branches and a river landing save her.
She has a nightmare about waking up in the confined area they found the girl. Two hunters (Douglas Russell, Alan Steele) watch the hiking group. The two kidnappers Mr. Kidd (Sean Harris) and Mr. McRae (Stephen McCole) stumble across and murder the hunters, absconding with their weapons. Andy (Eamonn Walker) drives Darko (Karel Roden) and Chris (Paul Anderson) to meet with the kidnappers. The climbing team find Alison across a loud river and they experience trouble communicating. The kidnappers start picking off the climbers. Jenny is the first to go and she inadvertently drags Anna down with her into the river. Alison receives a minor hit, knocking her into the water, but she manages to save Anna in the process. They lose each other, but are reunited again when Ed grabs Anna to escape the kidnappers. They also meet up with Alex, who chooses to run off with a decoy doll bundled up to look like Anna (where they found this doll is beyond me). They shoot him like an animal. As Alex slowly dies, Mr. Kidd enjoys his suffering for fooling them. “Do you feel that? That’s the price of your nobility. It hurts, doesn’t it?”
Alison and Ed scale a small face with Anna. Ed figures out that she is probably in the middle of a ransom situation. Andy coaches Darko on how to conduct himself during the negotiations with Mr. Kidd. When Darko expresses his doubts about receiving proper backup, Chris gets cheeky and chimes in, “We’re English, Darko. We leave friendly fire to the Yanks." During carnival (of all things) in the small town of Dingwall (?), Alison and Ed find a local police station. But, there aren’t any officers available to help them, because they’re all on patrol at the festival. Darko sits down with Mr. Kidd and refuses to pay until he sees Anna. Mr. Kidd goes on to explain a botched kidnapping that occurred, because the parents tried to outsmart him. The threatening scene is unnecessary for the characters, but the back-and-fourth bluffing between the two gentlemen buys Mr. McRae time to find Anna.
Ed convinces Alison to leave, because the officer doesn’t appear to be of much help, but the authority insists the pair must leave the girl in his custody. Mr. McRae shoots the officer dead from outside the building and the electricity goes out. The group escapes into the revelry and loudness of the fireworks. A backup officer has been killed. Mr. McRae emerges wearing a pig mask and shoots Ed, as well as another officer. The females disperse and Mr. McRae continues to kill people, including innocent festival goers. Andy finds the dying Ed and leaves him a gun to protect himself. Alison and Anna find a house owner (Jamie Edgell) willing to let them in to his home. Unfortunately, Alison doesn’t lock the door to even buy them a little time. Mr. McRae shoots the man and takes off his piggy mask. The house begins to burn. After a few scuffles, Alison kills Mr. McRae and helps Anna escape from an upstairs window. Fireman save the injured Alison. Apparently, Mr. Kidd makes off with the money, though we never see how things ended with Darko. Andy crashes through Mr. Kidd’s vehicle and beats the living shit out of him. Darko observes Alison being wheeled off to the hospital with Anna at her side and a police officer (Gillian MacGregor) in attendance.
Darko and Andy meet with some Serbs, one of which is Anna’s father Mr. Rakovic (Mathew Zajac). Mr. Kidd is brought to his feet and ordered to die. Mr. Rakovic informs Andy that he wired a payment to his account. The Serbs begin to bury Mr. Kidd. Roll End Credits.
Director: Julian Gilbey