DOWNRANGE is the blood-soaked new thriller from writer/director Ryûhei Kitamura, also known for The Midnight Meat Train (2008) and No One Lives (2012), so it’s no surprise that this film is a frenzied gorefest.
DOWNRANGE tells the tale of a group of young strangers who are taking a road trip together and end up fighting for their lives. While traveling in the middle of nowhere, their tire blows out and they are stranded on the side of the road in the sweltering heat. The group is carpooling together to share expenses for the trip and except for Sara (Alexa Yeames) and Todd (Rod Hernandez) who are a couple, none of them knew each other before they began this journey. When a member of the group literally loses their head, the others realize that someone is shooting at them and they are unwilling participants in a sick game. As the strangers struggle to survive and outwit the killer, they quickly bond, and the violent plot materializes. DOWNRANGE is full of in-your-face graphic carnage as the executioner attempts to methodically pick off each person, so if you don’t like blood, this movie isn’t for you.
The cinematography by Matthias Schubert in DOWNRANGE is outstanding and features some very creative and unique camera angles. Since they are being hunted by a cold-blooded sniper, some of the characters aren’t onscreen for very long, and most of the performances are typical of a well done teenage slasher film. Alexa Yeames’ portrayal of Sara is noteworthy and Kelly Connaire (Jodi) also shines unexpectedly as the movie unfolds. I did have some minor issues with the story, such as the fact that no one had a cell phone signal, but they were able to do other things with their phones that should have required a signal, but that’s not going to stop me from recommending this film.
The intensity in DOWNRANGE builds skillfully to achieve a gratifying crescendo in the final act, which had me on the edge of my seat and actually screaming at the screen. DOWNRANGE will be a Shudder Exclusive on April 26th, and since this is an immersive viewing experience you will be able to make all the noise you want, in the privacy of your own home, as you find out who will endure and who will end up a bloody, mangled mess. I definitely urge fans of brutal horror to check this one out when it hits Shudder with a bang.
DOWNRANGE will open this weekend at New York City’s Nitehawk Cinema with director Ryuhei Kitamura in attendance.