Friday, 30 April 2010

High Lane - FAB FEST, Filmhouse - 30/4/10

Based on the last known work of Enid Blyton "Five Get Butchered in Croatia"...

OK, not really but you get the idea.

Five bright young things from France decide to go climbing in Croatia only to end up falling victim to a psychotic poacher named Anton. To my mind the sort of people who enjoy climbing deserve everything they get...why don't they just watch the great outdoors from the comfort of their living room like normal people?

Director Abel Ferry has taken "The Descent" and turned it, almost literally, upside down. Instead of ghastly goings on deep beneath the surface of the world the rest of us call home his heroes/victims find terror in the world high above the rest of us. Chloe, Karine, Loic, Fred and Guillaume all fall foul of the worst sort of horror as they find that the beauty of the natural world is home to all the beastliness of the very world they think they are escaping..except here there is nobody to hear you scream.

While it couldn't be called an original idea it is a gripping horror film and it manages to avoid simply being a copy of "The Descent" thanks mainly to the stunning cinematography (some of the shots when the five are crossing the sort of rope bridge last seen in "Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom" are seriously wonderful) and the equally impressive performances of the cast. Fanny Valette is especially impressive as Chloe and Johan Libereau is equally impressive as her cowardly boyfriend Loic.

For those of us who never venture closer to nature than the walk from the car to the cinema this is the sort of film that makes us feel smug about our opposition to nature. For those of you who get some perverse enjoyment from climbing hills or extreme sports let this serve as a warning to you.

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