Blue Ruin – The First Kill
Blue Ruin will live on as one of my generation’s most hard-boiled, gritty, and intensified portrayals of violent revenge, with all praise aimed at indie filmmaker Jeremy Saulnier, but a disturbing realism makes the film a tad hard to stomach at times.
The movie is an absolute winner, entrancing from start to finish in its bleak delivery, but there’s something starkly unsettling about the instigating actions of Macon Blair’s lead character Dwight. Stalking his victim from the very moment he’s released from jail, Dwight knows he must kill the man who wronged his family, but life’s unpredictability makes the task a tad more difficult than anticipated, creating on of the most unforgettable cinematic kills of 2014.
The way Dwight murders his target avoids any sense of Hollywood flashiness, giving audiences an uncomfortably believable sequence that becomes harder and harder to forget over time. There’s no gun, no fancy weapons – just a quick stab to a buff man’s head, an eye that immediately turns red, and a growing pool of blood after he falls to the floor.
While the above description doesn’t sound like anything spectacular, there’s a deadly-silent atmosphere that accentuates every puncture wound and cry-out as Dwight finds his revenge in the coldest of blood, staring into the dead, bloodshot eyes looking directly back into his soul.
Saulnier captures murder for what it is – seething hatred, miscalculated consequences, and pure, unfiltered horror.