Downrange — 10 Movies in 10 Days: TIFF 2017 Review
The Mob’s Reel has been gracious enough to host Mobster, Curtis Morgan's TIFF 2017 review. As an actor and film buff, Curtis braved this years red carpet to bring you spoiler-free reviews on the 10 films he saw at the 2017 Toronto International Film Festival.
Midnight Madness at it’s best, Downrange’s concept of horror and isolation is pretty simple. Six new friends on a road trip travelling on a deserted strip of highway in Nowhereland, USA. They blow a tire. They get out to change it. After removing the blown tire, one of the travelers notices a bullet fall from it. They didn’t blow a tire, someone shot it out. Then the craziness begins.
When I was watching Downrange, I thought, what an original idea, but then I remembered the highway snipers from over a decade ago that terrorized American motorists. This movie was that terror times 10. The isolated area that made you feel like no one was coming to rescue the protagonists, and the fact that they were slowly being hunted is what elevated the fear factor. The movie does a great job of taking you minute by minute through the thought processes of these young people who just wanted to survive. It does a poor job of establishing relationship and making you care about them. It was casted much like many horror or slasher films are: several unknown actors who are meant to portray slightly cliched and mostly two-dimensional characters. Don’t get me wrong. Almost all of the characters have a redeeming moment that shows a glimpse into their depth, but it is overshadowed by the ominous violence, for the most part.
Downrange is just as gruesome as Brawl in Cell Block 99, but there’s more of it, and it does become the point of the movie. It still made for a fun ride, but not knowing the motivation of the sniper (who never utters a word), and some other little quips here and there make it a less-satisfying romp through the bloody and disgusting. Nonetheless, if you’re looking for a bloody popcorn flick around Hallowe’en, Downrange exists.
Downrange gets 3/5 stars.