Blue Ruin (2013) – Review

This American thriller is solid proof that with no dialogues and sonorous words of evil, mystery, agony and suspense are achievable. With a slow-paced story that seems to make no sense at first, director Jeremy Saulnier manages to capture the viewers’ attention in a way that will culminate in an explosion of emotions.

Blue Ruin follows the life of an outcast, Dwight (brilliantly played by Macon Blair), and shows his struggles to survive on a daily basis, whilst living in his car and collecting garbage. His miserable and empty life is perfectly mirrored in his eyes; a look that will leave no one untouched.

He finds a new, vengeful meaning in life after the release of ex-con Wade Cleland, the person who murdered Dwight’s parents years ago. In the hearing of such news, the tragic figure of Dwight decides to return to his hometown and seek justice; immoral and spiteful justice.

His plan to murder Wade, even though it’s successful, it brings further troubles upon Dwight and his estranged sister. The Cleland family, which consists of a bunch of gun-wielding hillbillies, is not willing to let him get away with his heinous action and asks for revenge that will put this deadly vendetta to an end.

So, revenge upon revenge, Dwight finds himself caught up in a complex situation that is far from what would help resolve the two families’ differences.

Macon Blair’s excellent performance leaves no doubt about the magnitude of his talent. He is absolutely perfect at depicting the scarred and lonely life of an outsider without the compliment of a single line. With limited dialogues Blue Ruin is all about the tension and the mayhem caused by an unforgotten vendetta, as actions speak louder than words.

Of course, Devin Ratray’s appearance (or the popularly known Buzz from Home Alone) is definitely a pleasant and significant touch to the storyline, as he plays the role of Ben, Dwight’s old school friend. The other characters are not as memorable as these two and frankly Blair most certainly excels at every level.

If you’re craving for a quiet but yet suspenseful thriller, Blue Ruin is one way to go. The initial slow pace should not be discouraging, though, as the ending is quite rewarding. It offers an insightful look into the journey of a lost soul, who is searching for his inner peace. But even when everything goes according to plan and everyone meets their destiny, does it really feel the way it should?

And to quote Colin Clive in Frankenstein: It’s Alive! It’s Alive!  7/10

7 Responses to “Blue Ruin (2013) – Review”
  1. thycriticman says:

    I think this is one of your best written reviews yet! Wonderfully worded Maria…and I see you have adopted a ratings system? Brilliant! You already know how I much I agree with you about it being a great film and I cannot argue with your score. Blair did an incredible job!


  2. CMrok93 says:

    Good review Maria. It’s not a game-changer, but most of what it does, it does right and effectively.


  3. Tom says:

    Hey there, thanks for the blog follow! I have just done the same. This review is great, and I can’t say how excited I am to get to this whenever it comes my way. These kinds of quiet, suspenseful movies are right up my alley.


    • maria kriva says:

      Hey Tom! Thank you for the follow!!Always a pleasure to meet a fellow cinephile! 🙂 Yes absolutely, it is a really good one! And I can’t say it enough, the acting was brilliant!


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