Nightshooters (2018, released 2021) 

A filmmaker and his crew are working in an abandoned building when they witness something they should not have in the next building over. As they have been spotted, they need to run and fight for their lives. 

Written and directed by Marc Price, this actioner is a fun one to watch on a Saturday night while relaxing. The film starts off looking like a zombie movie and it quickly becomes clear that a crew is filming they own film within the film here. Then things shift to that crew and the bad guys they come across while arguing over technical and behind the scenes aspects of what they are filming. The characters here are very much separated in two groups and these groups are clearly defined early on, thus giving the film a clear good versus bad. The writing and directing in this film are on the simpler side of things, but in this case, simpler is better. The film here takes the building siege concept and makes it about a film crew. It’s a bit meta here and there, but that is not what the film is about. The back and forth between the good and bad guys or the film crew and the criminals is what the film is all about. While they chase each other, each person from the film crew is given a moment (or three) to shine, building them up from seemingly random Schmoes to being the heroes they need themselves to be. 

The cast is a pretty awesome with a clear separation between each side and some definitely coming up top from the rest. One such performance is that of Jean-Paul Ly who does the majority of the butt-kicking here as he is given the great majority of the fight scenes. It’s easy to see why he is given these sequences as he’s got some major skills here and knows how to use them to spectacular effect on screen. On the bad guy side of this, actor Richard Sandling comes off on top as the lead of that group and as a performer who can truly commit to his part. Now, this may sound insane, but for a while there, he sounded like a mean Nick Frost and that was lovely.   

Given how films on the lower end of budgets have been cutting and editing fight scenes to an inch of their death, this film needs to be thanked for not doing that. The cinematography by Tom Barker and the editing by Marc Price allow the viewer to see all of the fighting, all of the action, and then some. This leads to sequences that bring the viewer in and makes them feel like they involved. It also proves that is very much possible to show the fights properly in a lower budget film when you have the performers you need in front of the camera.  

Nightshooters is a fun building siege film that goes by fast and makes the subgenre feel fun again. Yeah, it’s low budget, but so what? They build a film here that is well-made, well-planned, and for which the exact right cast was put into place. This leads to a film where the action and the suspense work and where the viewer can connect with the characters as they are just regular folx trying to get their passion project done before getting caught up in some drama they had nothing to do with. The way things are brought to the screen here is how they should be, the film has just the right amount of character set-up before the action starts and then that action never fully stops until the very end of the film.