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[Ruby Hornet will be attending the 49th Chicago International Film Festival from 10/10 – 10/24. Be sure to follow along as we bring you coverage from the longest-running competitive international film festival in the country. You can find all of our coverage from this year’s CIFF here.]
Director: Jeremy Saulnier
Country: United States
CIFF Screening: October 13, 2013 (8:15pm)
20 years after the double murder of his parents, Dwight returns to his hometown when the convicted murderer is let free. After he takes vengeance into his own hands, the tables are turned on him as the now-deceased murderer’s family begins a manhunt to avenge their relative’s death. Blue Ruin is a psuedo-noir film rife with violence, bloodshed, and a great example of a revenge thriller.
Blue Ruin is dark, both visually, thematically, and humorously. Scenes where harsh shadows envelop Dwight invading an empty house are contrasted with funny dialogue exchanges between himself and those around him, whether they’re with his hunters or his high school best friend. Dark comedy can be a mixed bag if used incorrectly or exaggerated, but Blue Ruin balances it well. Not many films can laugh at a witty response, jump when somebody’s face is blown off, then laugh again when it comes to disposing the body.
Revenge thrillers are usually about the fulfillment of revenge and the journey the character takes to accomplish it. Blue Ruin, however, takes it to the next level with moments of character introspection balancing the weight of blood. In just his second feature length film, writer/director Jeremy Saulnier showed how much potential he can bring to the film world; it’s only a matter of time before the film world takes notice.
Score: 7 out of 10