TAD 2021: Nightshooters dir. Marc Price

Nightshooters is a kinetic, frenetic, UK actioner laced with humour, cold tea, and explosive gore, and it’s enjoying its Canadian premiere on today’s line up of Toronto After Dark titles, as the virtual format of the film festival continues!

Falling squarely into the wrong place wrong time of action films, the film follows a group of guerilla filmmakers working on a zombie film, Dawn of the Deadly, and are shooting in an abandoned, scheduled for demolition in the morning building.

Of course they are.

They don’t have permits. They don’t have their phones. And there are a group of gangsters in the next building over that just killed a man, and they have it on digital.

Start your engines!

Over the course of the film’s 100 minute runtime, the film cast and crew try to elude the gangsters, their Kingpin-sized leader, and find a way out. There is a lot of humour, there is a lot of great effects work, and there is a lot of over-the-top enjoyable gore. Mix in some fight sequences and you’ve got this crowd-pleaser.

You’ve seen the story before with bigger and grander budgets, and A-list stars, but this one is just damned enjoyable, where’s its heart on its sleeve, and the level of humour at work here is very sharp, and very British, from throwaway lines to harshly delivered insults, there’s something not only to laugh at but great moments for action fans, and gore hounds alike.

The cast of the film crew has their roles down, they feel like they know their behind the camera roles intimately, and Rosanna Hoult and Jean-Paul Ly especially shine in their performances. Hoult plays Ellie, the special effects expert, who starts to put her love of explosives and tech to real work, while Ly’s Donnie, is the film’s stuntman, and he does his best John Wick.

This is an entry in the festival that once again makes me lament the fact that it is virtual (though I understand the safety precautions of why), because this one would play so well for a packed Festival house, and would have the viewers applauding and cheering on the kills, and laughing at the banter.

Sure, you can do that in the comfort of your own home, but the communal experience of it is gone. So maybe, invite some friends over for this one, crack a seal or two, and enjoy this romp. It’s going to play out exactly the way you think it is, but that’s what makes it fun. You know what has to happen, it’s how they get there that makes this one so fun!

So check this one, and the other Toronto After Dark festival titles out here! And enjoy the spills, chills, and thrills of Toronto… After Dark from your own couch!

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