By Darin Skaggs

The concept of revenge is one of the most complicated.  When you lose something close to you, you’ll get hung up on whose fault it is and could become obsessed with getting even.  If you do act upon those feelings the consequences could be disastrous and unsatisfying.  Jeremy Saulnier’s Blue Ruin explores those emotions and the repercussions of acting on them.

The story is about Dwight (Maron Blair), when we met him he has a full beard, he lives in his car and is clearly an emotional wreck.  One day a police officer knocks on his car door and takes him to the station.  He is not there to be arrested, it is clear the station is aware of what he is going through.  Instead the officer informs him that the man who murdered his parents is finally being released from prison.  He takes this news and begins planning his revenge.

Now this film doesn’t take the rest of its time to get to the revenge portion.  In fact about a third of the way into the film he gets to act on it.  Then the next two thirds are all about the aftermath.  Dwight escapes, leaving his car behind which is in his sister’s name and stealing the family of the victim’s car.  Dwight spends the rest of the film protecting his sister, himself and trying to figure out his next step.

Most revenge stories end at the revenge then usually show some regret on the perpetrators part, and sometimes not, but not this film.  This explores all the aftermath of someone who has taken revenge.  Dwight is filled with paranoia, fear and adrenaline and because of a great performance by Blair, so are we.

The film moves at a slow pace that makes the tension even more effective.  Even at its slow pace the movie is edited so well that it feels shorter than its mere hour and a half runtime.  Filled with great performances by mostly unknowns, the mostly being Eve Plumb aka Jane Brady and themes so dark and effective this film is sure to be of high praise when top ten list come out at the end of the year.


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