Director and writer Jeremy Saulnier (Murder Party (2007)) triumphantly brings a return to the revenge genre with a well thought-out and planning dissection of one man’s fears and retaliation while exploring the human underlying tones of love and fear. Blue Ruin engages with the audience in self-examination of their own passions and true human nature to overcome and forgive or exact one’s pound of flesh for another’s loss.  Also presented are slight religious tones, concerning the weak inherit the earth, and about turning the cheek, those while not explore deeper do expose themselves enough to reward the viewer more homework to carry-on their own evaluation of personal demons.

The introduction has the central character Dwight, masterfully portrayed by Macon Blair, showing us a man digging in dumpsters for food, and entering strangers homes when they are absent for a quick shower, sometimes having to leave quickly before full discovery. Hence, the viewer finds distaste with this man, his methods, attitude, and what perceived as ignorance, yet we notice that he contains an intellect, exposes a level to him, when he reads in his car, a blue ruin vehicle, matching his ruined life. When a police officer (Sidne Anderson) summons him, the first words uttered through speakers, and first casting judgment on appearance soon expose our own misconceptions about others, round one the viewers find the verdict of guilty. Saulnier paints the picture of Dwight’s position in life, stuck, but why, herein the large story explores that result, his parents murdered before him, and the killer granted early release for a double homicide. Macon, gains sympathy from many views, and soon enough flees the area, and searching for protection, steals a gun, only to have a lock on it, and destroys the weapon. The well wishes for a man lost in perplexing life, his only recourse a knife. The revenge killer presented in a Charles Bronson or even a Mel Gibson of Mad Max or Ransom style, are not Dwight, rather the knife brings the killer close, and personal, the pound of flesh feeling the life taken. The fear of the moments leading up the nervous energy, the only thing missing from the panic moments and urinating of himself, but the pain and suffering the lost life all come to a close – actually and expansion with the knife scene, stabbing in unrelenting manner rage released. Here Dwight releases himself from his own prison, yet finds himself and others he cares for in a safari and they become prey or maybe not.

Saulnier works magic, providing an intelligent and completely developing an engrossing storyline, that one losing track of everything that surrounds their life, and glances at a photo or then one they are with to explore the realm of what would one do, if animal granted early released. Actually, does one’s own life stop, and they lock into their own prison and many to do state that occurs, forgiveness a hard deal to accept especially when dealing with children.

The suspense throughout film, felt very much like an Alfred Hitchcock production the tension creeping the background, and then providing horrific events, and crawling to light from Dwight’s trap existence in the darkness. We transform even more and root for Dwight, after changes from a grungy bearded Wildman to a clean cut, almost baby-faced young man, part of ‘normal’ society, washing away years of grim, dirt and his clean palate, for him righteous justice a complete transformation on all levels. However all justice comes at a price, nothing in life goes free without some cost, and this lesson is shown from all angles and degrees of pain.

This film, which had a limited theater run, and released on DVD by Anchor Bay Entertainment, really shows what an independent well-funded and support crew can create, the cast, are mostly unknowns, and that works to a beneficial standpoint. No stars, leaves the audience in a quandary of who and why they need to choose a side, a person to champion the cause that we all internally seek, freedom and love, with acceptance and respects, fulfilling a righteous of fairness. Macon delivers the goods, and champions the little against the odds and Saulnier a man that will continue presenting films with great suspense and wonderful storytelling complete with stellar character development.

This review was originally published on the now defunct Rogue Cinema website in November 2014 with a view count of 1,227.


  • Revenge comes home
  • A Man With Nothing To Lose Is A Man With Nothing To Fear.

IMDb Rating: 7.1/10

Baron’s Rating: 7.0/10