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Macon Blair covered in blood in Blue Ruin

Blue Ruin is a classic American revenge story with an ominous spirit

JamesArthurArmstrong JamesArthurArmstrong An American thriller, with Hicthcock-esque sensibilities as a non-violent person goes on a quest of revenge after a tragedy spins his life out of control.

A peaceful vagrant finds his quiet life upended by dreadful news and sets off for his childhood home to carry out an act of vengeance. Since he is only an amateur assassin, he winds up in a brutal fight to protect his estranged family.


There is nothing new about Blue Ruin’s formula or style of story, but it’s ability to succeed is taking this genre and making it feel new and fresh is a cunning yet powerful ability for any screenwriter or director. It’s suspense it whats makes this movie work throughout. It’s lead characters heir of intrigue builds our attention to his persona and intrigues us into dreading what’s next.

Avoiding cliches of traveling down a road of righteousness with this story is once again testament to writer/director Jeremy Saulnier. It boasts a quality seen in the Coen Brother’s excellent debut Blood Simple in 1984. Not only is the narrative intriguing, it avoids being a straight up violent drama. There is understanding of this person’s objectives. We see it from his stand point— albeit without trying to justify his actions— but we get a chance to understand his perspective. Blue Ruin is littered with interesting observations and emotions, then abrupt acts of violence. Saulnier has an apparent confidence in his conviction of this movie.

Dwight seeks out his first victim
Dwight seeks out his first victim


An ominous spirit penetrates throughout as we follow an unlikely protagonist on his undertaking of retribution. The screenplay is enhanced with black humour along a brutal and unnerving conclusion but also provides a suspenseful journey that draw Hitchcock-like comparisons with its intricacies.

Blue Ruin is a classic American revenge story, borrowing themes from film noir to add a tremendous amount of ingenuity to the movie. Blue Ruin has a dark sense of humour running throughout that adds suspense to the already gripping and desperate lead character. An incredibly violent tale, it avoids drawing too much on the glorification of bloodshed, instead relying on itʼs ability to unnerve itʼs audience within the confines of human horror.


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JamesArthurArmstrong JamesArthurArmstrong

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