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Blue Ruin

Blue Ruin (2013)

Director: Jeremy Saulnier
Cast overview: Macon Blair, Devin Ratray
Running time: 90 minutes

This is a film which manages to pack plenty into a modest running time. It's gritty, grim, and down-to-earth, yet those don't stop it from being one of the best films of 2013. The fairly unknown Macon Blair gives a powerful performance as Dwight, the mysterious outsider and loner who serves as the film's protagonist. He returns to his childhood home to perform an act of revenge, though - as with most thrillers - things don't go according to plan and he is soon swept up in a world of violence and despair.

This is only Jeremy Saulnier's second film, yet he proves himself adept behind the camera and delivers an accomplished film that, despite its subject matter suggesting otherwise, feels polished and well-made. There is attention to detail, whether in the long moments of silence or the often brief but nonetheless heart-pounding action scenes. Likewise, the cinematography is excellent, and lighting was used to terrific effect. I felt the lack of big names in this also helped it to feel down-to-earth and true-to-life.

I don't have much more to say about this, other than you should check it out if you haven't already. It's cinema at its most basic, yet manages to be engaging, thrilling, and suspenseful, which is far more than many films manage these days. It's also dark - don't go into this expecting a light-hearted action flick, but do go into it expecting a film that will be rewarding in terms of viewing enjoyment. If only all independent film-making was this good...

[last lines]
Dwight: The keys are in the car... the keys are in the car... the keys are in the car.

Dwight: You know what's awful? Just 'cause my dad loved your mom... we all end up dead.

Sam: I'd forgive you if you were crazy, but you're not. You're weak.

At one time Benny mentions a "Duce" who got hit by a train. This is a reference to "El Duce", lead-singer of punk-Hardcore band "the Mentors" and friend of Kurt Cobain, who was indeed hit and killed by a train.

Jeremy Saulnier has a follow up to this movie - Green Room which is due to be released in 2015.