DOWNRANGE MM D: Ryuhei Kitamura. USA. 90 min..

DOWNRANGE MM D: Ryuhei Kitamura. USA. 90 min. Sep 15, 11:59 pm, Ryerson Sep 16, 11:45 am, Scotiabank 13 Sep 17, 3:45 pm, Scotiabank 11. Rating: NNN  

Beloved genre director Kitamura (Versus, The Midnight Meat Train) bounces back from the empty sadism of No One Lives with this taut thriller about six young people pinned down by a sniper while driving through a lonely patch of the California desert.

Midnight Madness regulars will appreciate the splattery violence and a script (by Joey O’Bryan) that doesn’t condescend to the genre characters are allowed to be resourceful and intelligent instead of just waiting to be picked off.

The acting’s a little spotty, but Stephanie Pearson is a standout as an army brat with an invaluable understanding of sightlines and strategy. And if the climax gets a little ridiculous, at least it gets ridiculous in the right way.

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