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Blue Ruin


Stars: Macon Blair, Devin Ratray, Kevin Kolack, Amy Hargreaves, David Q Thompson, Brent Werzner, Stacy Rock, Eve Plumb, Bonnie Johnson

Director: Jeremy Saulnier

Not at all bad, this doomy, atmospheric modern noir is obviously made on a limited budget but, thanks to director Saulnier, who shot it himself, it has upmarket cinematography that belies the film's cost.

As the man who he believes shot his parents is released from jail, hairily homeless Dwight Evans (Blair) emerges from oblivion in an attempt to exact revenge. Very much an amateur avenger, Dwight dispatches the man messily, but knows the deceased's violent, gun-oriented family will come looking for him.

Discarding his bloody clothes (and most of the hair), he heads for his home town in the battered car which had provided a home for the past few years (presumably the blue ruin of the title) and warns his sister and her kids to get out.

Sure enough, assassins emerge, but Dwight knocks one down and escapes - with an arrow in his leg and the injured man in the boot of his car.

His now-bloodied pursuer proves to be Teddy (Kolack), the dead man's brother. Teddy soon turns the tables on the naive Dwight, but help is at hand in the form of his boyhood friend Ben (Ratray), who has already provided him with a gun. Even so, there's still the rest of this lethal family...

Blair doesn't actually have a lot to do here, but functions well enough as the fulcrum of the action, though the best performance comes from Ratray as his friend. Film is a little slow at times, but the intensity of the treatment sees it through. TV fans with long memories may recognise 1970s' small-screen star Eve Plumb as one of the aforementioned family.

David Quinlan

USA 2014. UK Distributor: Picturehouse Entertainment. Colour by Color Collective.
91 minutes. Widescreen. UK certificate: 15.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 1, Violence/Horror 2, Drugs 0, Swearing 1.

Review date: 30 Apr 2014