Blue Ruin

“It’s rare that a genre film takes the chances of this one and succeeds so resoundingly.” — Brian Clark, Twitch

Director: Jeremy Saulnier
Year: 2013
Country: USA
Running time: 95 mins
Censor Rating: R18 - graphic violence, offensive language
Genres: Thriller

Screenplay/Photography: Jeremy Saulnier
Producers: Anish Savjani, Richard Peete, Vincent Savino
Editor: Julia Bloch
Production designer: Kaet McAnneny
Costume designer: Brooke Bennett
Music: Brooke Blair, Will Blair

With: Macon Blair (Dwight), Devin Ratray (Ben Gaffney), Amy Hargreaves (Sam), Kevin Kolack (Teddy Cleland), Eve Plumb (Kris Cleland), David W. Thompson (William), Brent Werzner (Carl Cleland), Stacy Rock (Hope Cleland), Sidné Anderson (Officer Eddy)

Festivals: Cannes (Directors’ Fortnight) 2013

It’s been a few years since Jeremy Saulnier’s horror-comedy mash-up Murder Party hit the festival circuit and won a lot of fans. Now he’s back with a riff on the revenge movie, immediately selected for the prestigious Directors’ Fortnight at Cannes. In the film’s solemn and quiet opening we meet Dwight, a homeless man who collects trash for money. After reading about the release of a double murderer he visibly transforms from dishevelled bearded bum into determined member of society. Pieces of his past are revealed through his unpredictable and violent actions. What follows is a deeply comic narrative of family retribution, white-trash psychosis and home invasion, set to the unsettling rhythms of a weapons-obsessed world. Deftly shot, with thoughtful widescreen compositions, this terrifically directed film combines the classic feuding-families set-up with the meditative veneer of a very clever contemporary art-house thriller. — Ant Timpson