Heading To The Cinema Tonight? Go And See Blue Ruin

This film from little-known director Jeremy Saulnier is the latest thriller set against the backdrop of poor rural America.


by Jess Commons |
Published on

What’s This Then? Blue Ruin, the new film from director Jeremy Saulnier that’s been Kickstarter funded.

Ooh, cool. What’s it about? Well, we don’t want to give too much of it away, because the central character, Dwight, starts out as a bit of a puzzle and then slowly evolves over the course of an hour and a half, as we find out more and more about his back story. But, basically, Dwight is living in his rusty old car (with a beard that makes Brad Pitt’s 2001 facial fuzz for his short-lived time working on The Fountain look almost chic) when a policewoman takes him down to the station to inform him that someone of great relevance to him has been released from prison. This is terribly disturbing to Dwight and he sets off on a journey to right some wrongs that involve him reconnecting with his estranged sister, learning to become a (sort of) whizz with guns, and encountering a Winter’s Bone-type crime family who are the latest fictional film family to convince us that the rural communities of the United States are probably a good idea to leave off the road trip.

Right, okay. But still no idea what it’s about really… That’ll only make it better. Honest.

I’ll trust you. Who’s in it? Well, no one you’ll know really, except maybe Devin Ratray, who plays Dwight’s long-lost school friend with a penchant for guns, who you might recognise as Kevin’s older brother, Buzz, from the Home Alone films. Not having any huge names in it, though, is kind of it's charm – the lack of Hollywood glamour only serves to make the world of Blue Ruin more authentic.

And what are people saying about it? 'Moody, atmospheric, skillfully constructed and spiked with sporadic paroxysms of brutal violence, it’s in many ways typical of movies by emerging filmmakers, most of which are designed to show off technical chops and little else. The last thing the world needs is another empty genre exercise. Which makes Blue Ruin that much more of an exhilarating astonishment.' Ann Hornaday – theWashington Post.

And what are we saying? If you've got a problem with Coen Brothers-style blood and gore, then stay far, *far *away. There's one particular scene with an arrow that's going to be testing to even those with the most steely of stomachs. Other than that, though, the film's an unconventional thriller that's tense enough to keep you biting your nails right through till the blood-soaked finale. Macon Blair is excellent as the meek outsider who finds himself in really rather extraordinary circumstances when he realises his family is at risk. There's even a bit of light relief, provided mainly by the gun-toting, hard-rock listening Ben. Go and see Blue Ruin with the boyfriend and make sure you've got a nearby bar to escape to afterwards for a stiff whiskey afterwards.

Follow Jess on Twitter @Jess_Commons

This article originally appeared on The Debrief.

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