Kitamura’s New Horror Thriller, DOWNRANGE, Aims For 2018

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.