As tough as it is smart as it is suspenseful, Blue Ruin proves that action cinema isn’t just the preserve of the big Hollywood studios. It’s been a few years since Jeremy Saulnier’s horror-comedy mash-up Murder Party hit the festival circuit and won a lot of fans. Now he’s back with a riff on the revenge movie, immediately selected for the prestigious Directors’ Fortnight at Cannes.

In the film’s solemn and quiet opening we meet Dwight (Macon Blair), a homeless man who collects trash for money. After reading about the release of a double murderer he visibly transforms from dishevelled bearded bum into determined member of society. What follows is a deeply comic narrative of family retribution, white-trash psychosis and home invasion, set to the unsettling rhythms of a weapons-obsessed world. Deftly shot, with thoughtful widescreen compositions, this terrifically directed film combines the classic feuding families set-up with the meditative veneer of a very clever contemporary arthouse thriller.

Ant Timpson
New Zealand International Film Festival

‘Distinguished by the way it allies solid storytelling to fine craftsmanship’
Screen International

‘a lean and suspenseful genre piece’

Winner, FIPRESCI Prize, Cannes Film Festival