Bloody Disgusting presented the official trailer on Thursday and you can check it out below. Kelly Connaire, Stephanie Pearson, Rod Hernandez-Farella, Anthony Kirlew, Alexa Yeames and Jason Tobias star.
Hands down, it was the cult hit, Versus, that drew me to director Kitamura Ryuhei close to fifteen years ago. He’s been less prolific in recent memory whilst maintaining his career path between Japan and the U.S. and his latest contained suspense thriller, Downrange, continues forward this year in bolstering his international profile.
The movie is now set to open exclusively on OTT VoD service, Shudder beginning April 26 per reports over at Quiet Earth and Horror Society. Joey O’Bryan (Fulltime Killer) pens the script that sees Kelly Connaire, Stephanie Pearson, Rod Hernandez-Farella, Anthony Kirlew, Alexa Yeames and Jason Tobias headline the harrowing tale of cross-country college carpoolers crippled by a flat tire on a middle-of-nowhere road, and incidentally trapped in the crosshairs of a deranged sniper with no way out.
Kitamura has at least one other in the pipeline while I still remain hopelessly patient for a Versus sequel of some kind or a similar project that fully fleshes him out on a greater stage. I can definitely see him at the helm for greater prospects in film and I certainly hope he doesn’t lose his momentum here.
Check out the poster below and I’ll be sure to update with a new trailer should one arise, although the one circulating as of last year prior to TIFF is still a nice little appetizer.
I’m ready to spend more years of my lifetime gushing over the work of director Kitamura Ryuhei… gushing like the blood drawn from the victims of his latest action horror suspense thriller, Downrange. The film came as a surprise to me last month as I expected the filmmaker to be working on another but the news surrounding this one sounds like an equally-exciting time at the movies.
Written by Kitamura and writer Joey O’Bryan, the film hails a self-proclaimed new style of storytelling for Kitamura whose work includes titles like Versus, Azumi and LoveDeath, as well as two North American thrillers – Midnight Meat Train and No One Lives; Newcomer Kelly Connaire leads the cast with Stephanie Pearson, Rod Hernandez-Farella, Anthony Kirlew, Alexa Yeames, and Jason Tobias for the story of six college friends whose cross-country trip hits an impasse when a presumed accident reveals itself in terrifying fashion, courtesy of a deranged sniper.
The movie is getting a 2018 release with the help of Eleven Arts as the film now readies its Midnght Madness World Premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival this September. For this, we now have an official TIFF trailer that samples all the suspense and tension you can expect in full upon its arrival.
Pardon me while I continue to hopelessly wait for a sequel to Kitamura Ryuhei’s 2000 smash hit, Versus. Needless to say though, I’m glad he’s still on the move having last adapted Lupin III for the screen prior to his late 2016 attachment to home invasion thriller, Doorman, which interestingly got no movement at all from what I’ve observed, which sucks because the premise is just fantastic.
Pan over, however, to a new press announcement which talks of Kitamura’s new sniper suspense thriller, Downrange, for which he is also producing the film with Eleven Arts’s own Mori Ko (Lords of Chaos, Man From Reno, Uzumasa Limelight) and with Maki Taro (Motorway, Fulltime Killer) executive producing. In addition, Kitamura crafted the story with screenwriter Joey O’Bryan (Motorway, Fulltime Killer), which the presser describes as “a minimalist thriller with maximum tension” and promises to deliver “nonstop tension from its opening frame”.
Read on via Horror Society:
In the film, six college students are carpooling cross-country when one of their tires blows out on a desolate stretch of country road. Getting out to fix the flat, they quickly discover that this was no accident. The tire was shot out. With their vehicle incapacitated, the group is pinned down and mercilessly attacked by an unseen assailant as they desperately attempt to find a way to escape.
Producer Mori states, “It’s an honor and privilege to partner with a director as visionary as Ryuhei Kitamura, whose art has thrilled genre audiences for over fifteen years since first shocking the world with his debut feature Versus. Our longtime friendship has culminated in this exciting collaboration, and Ryuhei’s dedication to horror, action, and thrillers makes him the perfect fit to helm a film like DOWNRANGE – which is nonstop tension from its opening frame.”
Adds director Kitamura, “While I’ve created single location films in the past, DOWNRANGE marks a new style of storytelling for me, wherein sustained, breathless terror in a singular location is what drives the entire plot. We’ve crafted a film in which is fueled by relentless dread, and are very excited to share it with horror and suspense fans around the world.”
Kitamura has unleashed an uncompromising vision with DOWNRANGE, creating a minimalist thriller with maximum tension. His film-making is as stylish as ever, but leaner and meaner than ever before.
DOWNRANGE stars newcomer Kelly Connaire, Stephanie Pearson (Insidious: Chapter 2), Rod Hernandez-Farella, Anthony Kirlew, Alexa Yeames (The CW’s The Originals), and Jason Tobias (ABC Television’s Notorious). It is currently scheduled to be released in early 2018.
Kitamura himself is no stranger to contained thrillers having made titles such as Sakaki Hideo’s 2004 screen rematch with Sakaguchi Tak in Alive, as well as shortfilm hit, The Messenger. Projects come and go. Downrange is no Doorman or Versus 2 for that matter, but Kitamura is the bees knees and I’m a proud fan among many. So, I’ll take this.