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'Downrange' TIFF 2017 Review: A bloody thriller that delivers on its premise

September 13, 2017Ben Mk



   
Six college students find themselves the unwitting targets of a roadside sniper in Downrange, the latest bloodbath from Versus and The Midnight Meat Train director Ryƻhei Kitamura.

Light on plot but heavy on gore, this exercise in high-concept thrills won't win any Oscars any time soon. Still, it's impressive what Kitamura has been able to achieve with a modest budget and a cast of unknowns. Downrange starts off simply — with a blown tire triggering the characters' perilous predicament — but as the body count rises and buckets of blood and chunks of brain matter begin to coat the screen, the movie takes on a life of its own, culminating in a last-minute twist ending as wickedly devilish as anything the co-writer/director has done.

Although neither as over-the-top as Versus nor as suspenseful as The Midnight Meat Train, Downrange doesn't disappoint. With a keen eye for shock value, Kitamura delivers in spades on the film's one-line premise, making this one of the more satisfying Midnight Madness movies to play at the festival this year.

Downrange is receiving its world premiere as part of TIFF 2017's Midnight Madness programme. Its runtime is 1 hr. 30 min.




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