Downrange (2017)

German Splendid Films 2018 Blu-ray edition with turnable sleeve (to avoid the FSK censor sticker)

I had no expectations for this film, and if i had, a very low one, as i have been only mildly enthusiastic for his non-japanese one's.
OK, i found his "Midnight Meat" Train to be quite entertaining but i did not like "No One Lives", it sucked, what a mess it was.
So, to have really low expectations is a good thing as a pleasant surprise often is waiting for you.
At first, everything was as i thought, the young unknown actors sucked a bit and i was waiting for the film to go down in flames
....... BUT, NO.

This film turned out to be a very cleverly scripted and well directed thriller bordering to horror. Delightfully minimalistic, smart and
realistic. This from the director of trash zombies and meatcleaver equipped Lovecraftian demon attendants, a big surprise for me, and
good news as Kitamura still has many years of directing to do. He's evolving and if he can crank out great films like this .... nice.

Realistic ? Yes, after the film i thought about what I, the viewer, would do, in real life if i got in a situation like the one in the film. A common
thing to do i guess, if you've seen a slasher horror you know what i mean, after a couple of your friends have been killed brutally in an
old nasty house you don't light a matchstick and go down in the cellar calling "hello, is anyone there", no, you run as fast as you can,
and from the house. OK, in this film the youngsters suddenly find themself to be caught in an evil trap, and there were nothing much
different they could do if this had happened in real life (to me, to you, to the viewers).

A Gory Day at the Car (sounds weird, but could've been an alternative title to this film)

A bunch of young people, maybe in their early 20's, is travelling together by car - carpooling. Somewhere out on the countryside, in
an idyllic pastoral looking valley, they suddenly get a flat tyre. They are 3 guys and 3 girls, and when they take a rest at the side of the
road to change the tyre they see that there's a bullet hole in it, and then a hidden sniper with a rifle and a silencer starts killing them off.
Where can they hide, will there be another car passing by who can get help and will their cellphones get a signal and be of any use?

Even though the actors maybe wasn't that fantastic in some cases, the film was surprisingly suspenseful and intense with some shocking
gore (done the old "good way" without CGI, kudos to the film team). The film was shot in Kern County, California.
On the Blu-ray sleeve Kelly Connaire and Stephanie Pearson can be seen as Jody and Karen, and this is the best Kitamura i've seen yet.

The German Blu-ray is presented in widescreen 2.35:1 and with an english audio DTS-HD 5.1, trailer, other trailers, region B


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