The past comes back to haunt in thriller

Dwight (Macon Blair) in Blue Ruin. Photo: PA Photo/Picturehouse Entertainment

Dwight (Macon Blair) in Blue Ruin. Photo: PA Photo/Picturehouse Entertainment

Spur-of-the-moment actions speak louder than carefully chosen words in Jeremy Saulnier’s impeccably crafted second feature.

Indeed, when the bedraggled hero of Blue Ruin is finally put on the spot and forced to justify his actions, he apologises for his poor articulation and squirms, marinading in the sweat of his mounting discomfort.

From its striking opening shot of a man languishing in a bath, Saulnier’s revenge thriller establishes a deceptively slow and steady pace that belies the nerve-shredding tension beneath the surface.

Once the first drop of blood is spilt - and it’s a stomach-churning spray of glossy claret - we’re completely in the writer-director’s vice-like grip, unable to take our eyes from the screen as his tense game of cat and mouse reaches its shocking yet emotionally satisfying denouement.

One unremarkable morning, Dwight is shepherded into the local police station where Officer Eddy (Sidne Anderson) delivers some dire news.

It transpires that Will Cleland (David W Thompson), the man who is serving time for murdering Dwight’s parents, is poised to re-emerge into the outside world.




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