Jeremy Sauliner’s Blue Ruin is a clever, taut and tense low-budget revenge thriller made with the same love for small-town noir pieces as the Coen Bros of old. A little know Kickstarter project with plenty to say about violence and its lasting impact on those unfortunate enough to experience it, Blue Ruin is an absolute gem of a film in its truest sense and demands your immediate viewership.
Devastated to the point of total detachment from civilisation, a hugely empathetic drifter and survivalist named Dwight (Macon Blair – award worthy) scampers through life by any means necessary. With a weedy beard and sad broken eyes, Dwight’s aimless pursuits are suddenly given immediate purpose when he learns that his parent’s killer is being released from prison.
Macon Blair’s minimalist performance builds mountains of compassion for his reluctant and tragic antihero. Much like the Coen’s No Country For Old Men, the story is driven visually and without dialogue, creating an endless stream of moments featuring near unbearable tension. When the violence does hit, it’s often shocking and raw. As it often does, Dwight’s quest for vengeance has its bloodier consequences and Sauliner’s script continually surprises and shocks your expectations of the genre until the very end.
Confidently directed, impeccably written and beautifully shot, the film never once shows its financial limitations and sets up Sauilner as a major talent on the rise. Blue Ruin is the type of film that seems destined to be under-seen by the masses, only to garner a well-deserved cult following over the coming years. Be one of those on the ground floor.