films seen
4
average score
2.87*
nationality
status
Alive and kicking
more info

Solid pieces

Hold the Dark

2018 / 125m - USA
Adventure, Drama, Thriller
3.5*/5.0*
Hold the Dark poster

Gritty and icy thriller that makes the best of its surroundings and cleverly alternates between solemn scenes and gruesome action. It's what Saulnier does best. For an even higher score it should've been that little extra atmospheric, but as it is the film gripped me from the start and didn't let go until the very end.

The inoffensive

Murder Party

2007 / 79m - USA
Comedy, Horror
3.0*/5.0*
Murder Party poster

Saulnier's first isn't half bad. It's a quirky horror flick with some solid black comedy and a couple of funny ideas, sadly it's also a no budget film unable to escape its no budget roots. Murder Party is short and amusing, but also a bit cheap and easy. Not his best work, but if you like a good black comedy, worth checking out.

Worthy but flawed

Green Room

2015 / 95m - USA
Horror, Music, Thriller
2.5*/5.0*
Green Room poster

Blue Ruin

2013 / 90m - USA
Crime, Thriller
2.5*/5.0*
Blue Ruin poster

Decent, but somewhat tepid and simple revenge flick. Blue Ruin is very much a film of its time, bringing a slight indie/arthouse aesthetic to an otherwise straightforward genre premise. Sometimes this juxtaposition of styles can strengthen each other, most of the time they just cause unnecessary friction. The latter seems to be the case here.

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Dwight saw his parents brutally murdered. The killer was apprehended and sent to jail, but Dwight never really forgave him. When years later Dwight hears his parents' murderer is released before his sentence is completed, he plans a revenge mission. Dwight will not only have to become a killer himself, but he also has to accept that he'll be continuing the cycle of hate and violence.

Conversation is slight and the film is more show than tell. That's usually a good thing, but the presentation felt a little too bland and sloppy to pull that off effectively. There are some decent twists and the performances aren't bad either, there just wasn't quite enough here to turn this into a riveting, gritty yet grounded revenge flick, which was clearly the goal.