After seeing Green Room I was determined to visit Jeremy Saulnier’s other films which include Blue Ruin and Murder Party. I bought Blue Ruin on Amazon Instant and went in expecting it to be extremely unrelenting like an Eli Roth film. However, the violence is brutal but not excessive. It is the story, not the violence, that is unrelenting and compelling. I definitely feel Blue Ruin is a Must See film for independent filmmakers and anyone who loves movies!
What is Blue Ruin?
Dwight (Macon Blair) is living life as a homeless man when news of a man getting out of prison reaches him. He decides to return to his childhood home in order to commit an act of vengeance and things quickly spiral out of control.
Macon Blair is in all three of Saulnier’s films and he really gets to shine in this one. He dominates the screen time and earns every second of it. His character is intriguing, empathetic, and easily drives the story forward as he goes on his quest. The emotions that Blair demonstrates in his somber tone really resonates with the story. Devin Ratray, Amy Hargreaves, and Kevin Kolack really are the only characters with significant screen time and are effective in their respective roles.
The opening sequence gets to showcase Saulnier’s eye for cinematography and introduce the troubled Dwight. We see a fairly usual looking suburban home and the various elements you’d expect to see inside. We find Dwight taking a bath when he suddenly turns the water off. He appears to be listening for something, but whatever alerted him must have passed as he turns the water back on. Moments later he turns the water off and the camera cuts to the outside where a family is walking into the house. Dwight kicks the screen out of the side window and goes running naked into the midday air. It becomes clear that Dwight is homeless and the intrigue builds and the story moves forward from there.
Saulnier has won me over as a fan. His writing and directing are fresh and exhilarating. His background with cinematography makes for some amazing visuals. His clean storytelling approach that focuses on the story at hand and only the elements of exposition back story that need to be revealed and can do so organically are given to the audience. If you’ve not seen his films you owe it to yourself to explore his work.
Blue Ruin is suspenseful and uses violently as a storytelling mechanism. It’s not excessively used, but it is used to great impact. I definitely recommend that you see this film as soon as you are able to.