A Lonely Place to Die Blu-ray Review
A Lonely Place to Die comes to Region B-locked UK Blu-ray complete with a 1080p High Definition video presentation in the movie’s original theatrical aspect ratio of 2.35:1 widescreen. All things considered, it’s a largely good presentation, particularly in the first and second acts, which are most impressive thanks largely to the superb location. Shot with the Red One Camera, indeed the more problematic moments do come with fast motion shots, which result in the inevitable blurring, but for the majority of the time the digital photography picks up every little detail and showcases it in an often quite stunning way. DNR is almost non-existent, aliasing is not an issue, and there’s little edge enhancement to complain about, and, even if there’s a hint of shimmer, this is still largely a good-looking presentation. The colour scheme is lovingly represented: from the fairly cold but often quite vibrantly green locales to the gorgeous sunsets, with the tones across the palette authentically and realistically rendered, all the way up until the final act, which suffers slightly from low-level lighting issues. Overall it’s a solid video presentation that has some particularly fine moments and only occasionally belies its low budget origins.
On the aural front we get a selection of different flavours, including an English LPCM 2.0 track and a more prominent English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 mix that will likely be most viewers’ preferred option. Although neither the material, nor the track itself, stand out aurally in any way, shape or form, this six-channel offering still does well to present the material in a stable, fairly refined fashion, allowing the dialogue to come across clearly and coherently and dominate the frontal array where appropriate; picking up on some of the nicer smaller nuances in order to build up something of an atmosphere; and relating the more tense action sequences with both shocking, loud gunshots that echo out through your living room and more thunderous confined combat towards the latter part of the movie. Bass is limited, and the sound design is far from impressive, but this is still a perfectly acceptable, workmanlike rendition to accompany the movie.
On the extras front, despite this being a fairly small, low-key production, we get a nice selection that would impress on bigger titles, let alone smaller ones.
The Gilbey brothers present this audio commentary, which is a largely interesting and fairly informative affair, often acting as something for a film school lesson for those who would like to pick up tips on how to make a competent feature film on a tiny budget. It’s interesting to hear how they trained as mountaineers for the purposes of making this movie, and the difficulties they had shooting the film at height and in tricky locations. Certainly worth dipping into.
This feature-length documentary runs at over an hour in length and gives us a fair amount of detail about the production of the movie, some of which is not covered in the Commentary. We get to hear from the filmmakers themselves, as well as some of their cast, and we also get plenty of the original footage that was shot on location, presented in an unedited fashion. Overall fans of the film will want to check this out, although those who don’t have as much time on their hands may prefer to stick with the Commentary, which covers most of the same material, only without the added visuals.
As if it weren’t enough, we get this addition quarter-hour Featurette which looks in greater depth at the filmmaking brothers – in particular the director, Julian – and their interest in climbing, also showcasing some oftentimes stunning video-diary-like footage from their trip to the Alps.
Finally we get the original UK Theatrical Trailer to round out the disc.
Another solid example of British independent horror filmmaking, showcasing unusual ideas, brimming with unrefined potential, and reminding us that there’s more to the genre than just remakes of 80s cult classics (Last House on the Left, I Spit on your Grave) and superior modern foreign productions (Let Me In, The Grudge). Tense and unpredictable, it follows suit after the likes of The Descent and Eden Lake, injecting in elements of the classic survival thriller, Deliverance, and, whilst the at time over-zealous stylisation only tends to highlight the budgetary restrictions of this low-key production, if you’re in a forgiving mood, and you fancy something a little different, then A Lonely Place to Die may just be for you.
On Region B-locked Blu-ray we get good audio, solid video and a surprisingly comprehensive selection of extras to boot, making this a nice release to pick up if you’re a fan of the movie, and certainly a tempting rental if you’re in the right mood.
Suggested retail price when reviewed: £15.99
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