Written and directed by Jeremy Sauliner, Blue Ruin is a powerful return to form for the revenge movie. Macon Blair (Murder Party) plays Dwight, a man, who at first, looks to be homeless, but we learn that Dwight has chosen to live in a car. This is a man who has been beaten down by life and this is the direction he chose. When Dwight learns that the man who murdered his parents is being released from prison, he gets his car back into running order, buys a road map and heads to the prison just in time.
Blair does an outstanding job of portraying Dwight with the look of a lost, little lamb who, underneath it all, has a pretty firm grasp on the road he is about to take and all of the potential repercussions. Especially at the beginning of the film, his absolute look of innocence reminded me so much of Bud Cort in Harold and Maude. You just want to take him in and take care of him. As his story progresses, Dwight slowly becomes a bit more sure of himself and his intentions.
Dwight makes some choices that put his sister and her family in danger. He has chosen to take revenge on a family who does not call the police; they simply take care of things on their own. When his sister tells him, “I’d forgive you if you were crazy, but you’re not. You’re weak.” it is one of the few times Dwight looks as though he is really seeing and feeling the consequences of his actions.
This is what I like to refer to as a “quiet” movie. There is very little dialogue in the film and this is what makes it so haunting. The score is just as subdued and perfectly fits every scene, every emotion, every moment. Certainly more of a thriller than a horror film, Blue Ruin does not lack for blood. In a particularly memorable “self – surgery” scene, my toes curled. Literally.
This is the kind of movie that draws you in so completely, that you are somewhat mesmerized. Although you are never sure if you agree with Dwight’s decisions, you are very happy to be along for the ride.