There’s a scene in Blue Ruin where our vengeful hero, Dwight Evans (Macon Blair), is shot in the leg by a crossbow. Hobbling to a late-night store, he purchases pliers and a hacksaw and sets about some self-surgery. Only he’s not Rambo and Blue Ruin is not your everyday, predictable thriller. Cut to Dwight screaming and stumbling to hospital, his ragged leg now five times worse than it was before.
A hit on the festival circuit, Jeremy Saulnier’s low-budget stunner starring his best mate from school is a compelling hybrid. It starts off as a slow-burn character study, offering little exposition as we track a bedraggled homeless guy with mental health issues. Then the mists of mystery drift away and Blue Ruin morphs into a revenge thriller splattered with momentsof black comedy and existential horror.
Funny, violent and lobbing narrative curveballs like a young Schwarzenegger tossing hand grenades, Blue Ruin exerts its tension so covertly you’ll be shocked to discover that gasping noise in the cinema is being made by you.