High Lane



Scenario 1:  Lady A is late to the movie theater.  Parking is impossible to find, and the concession-stand line is endless.  As a result, Lady A misses the first half of High Lane.

Scenario 2:  Gentleman B watches the first half of High Lane, but receives an emergency call from his cousin Bertie, who urgently needs bail money.  Gentleman B departs the theater, and misses the second half of High Lane.

The following day, you bump into Lady A and Gentleman B, and ask both what they thought of the film.  “A crackerjack adventure with gorgeous scenery,” Gentleman B tells you, adding, “I highly recommend it.”  “It was horrid, cliché-ridden, slasher dreck,” says Lady A.  “By all means, avoid it,” she adds.  Who is giving you the best advice – Lady A or Gentleman B?  Answer:  both of them.

The first half of director Abel Ferry’s … well, “horror/adventure,” sports some of the best, tensest mountain-climbing scenes this side of Cliffhanger.   The mountain views (allegedly of the Balkans but reportedly shot in France) are breathtaking.   Ferry’s depiction of these nerve-wracking crags and crevices and their effect on one character’s vertigo is dizzying, indeed.

But for some unfathomable reason, at the 45-minute-mark the film makes a Wrong Turn and steers away from nail-biting action to tiresome, seen-it-all-before horror.  I suppose the idea must have looked good on paper:  Deliverance Meets Leatherface.

Our heroes, a group of five young and attractive (naturally) climbers, suddenly find themselves stalked and cocked by a sort of Croatian Keith Richards, an unwashed hillbilly who, in the grand tradition of all bogeymen, has no trouble snaring young people who sprint full-speed while he simply plods after them.  Everything you expect to see is included:  A young woman miraculously displays martial arts skills; people go places they shouldn’t, and do things they oughtn’t – all in the service of a plot gone spectacularly wrong.           Grade:  C




Director:  Abel Ferry  Cast:  Fanny Valette, Johan Libereau, Raphael Lenglet, Nicolas Giraud, Maud Wyler, Justin Blanckaert  Release:  2009


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1 comment

  1. Sparky November 21, 2010 8:27 pm  Reply

    Great review. Sounds like formula torture porn to me. The worst kind of horror in my book. Thanx for the warning.

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