BLUE RUINSeptember 05, 2014


BLUE RUIN (Radius)

On Demand Weekly provides new movie reviews of hot movies on demand from the POV of watching from the comfort of your home. Today’s review: BLUE RUIN (Radius).


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By Joe Charnitski

There is a long stretch at the beginning of the film BLUE RUIN where almost no dialogue is heard. The only character we’ve met is alone, seemingly an outcast. He sleeps in his car and breaks into people’s homes to use their bath tubs. It’s an interesting character note to point out that he takes long, hot baths, instead of the quick shower you would imagine a break-in artist in need of a quick getaway would prefer. There’s an intense mood of mystery. Who is this guy? Why am I being shown his story? In the first real conversation we hear our main character Dwight (Macon Blair) engage in, he says, “I’m not used to talking this much.” The words and sounds yet to come will carry even greater importance due to this earlier period of silence.

BLUE RUIN is an award winner from Cannes written and directed by Jeremy Saulnier. It’s a thriller in the truest sense of the word. It is mysterious and suspenseful. It never quite stops messing with your point of view. It provides information and detail as we go. The more you learn, the more you’ll wonder about what comes next. It is also tragic. A tale of two broken families digging in to old wounds until no hope for healing is left.

As for the story, it would be difficult to say too much without taking something away from the viewing experience. We find Dwight in a desperate state when the film begins. He starts to look better as the story progresses, but his circumstances, in many ways, get much worse. He’s had a situation thrust upon him, but then he makes a decision, and that decision releases an unstoppable momentum on his life. It’s being called a revenge movie. That about sums it up.

The full story will develop right up to the penultimate scene. The characters receive highlighting and shading every time we learn more about their situations. There’s a poetry to how everything turns out. There’s just enough there to leave you hopeful that the cyclical horrors we’ve seen don’t have to continue. 


The cast performs very well across the board. In addition to Macon Blair’s frightened but committed protagonist, Devin Ratray, Amy Hargreaves and Kevin Kolack all bring a richness to the story with portrayals of best friend, sister and nemesis, respectively. Saulnier’s skills as a director (he also provided the cinematography) are sharp. A quiet film driven by mood and character is an oft missed target. Saulnier’s pacing, dialogue and cinematography hit it pretty damn close to the bullseye.

There’s a motif throughout BLUE RUIN about houses, homes really, and the little items you find in them that symbolize the family within. The film is a lot about family and loyalty and standing by people, not because it’s right, but because, well, I can’t say I’m sure.


Maybe in a strange way it’s about the truest form of love.

Love that is inexplicable.


Hard to defend. At one point one of the characters speculates that love is what has caused so much suffering for the members of these two families. I told you it was tragic.






Joe Charnitski


Joe Charnitski
Joe Charnitski is a new contributing writer to On Demand Weekly. His career in film and television production, development and marketing has included stops at Miramax Films, Syfy and VH1. He currently works at a entertainment focused social media marketing agency in New York City. Twitter:@JoeCharnitski


Read Joe's Other Reviews...


Kurt Russell's THE BATTERED BASTARDS OF BASEBALL (A Netflix Original Documentary) DEMAND IT

MISTAKEN FOR STRANGERS - The Documentary Featuring The National DEMAND IT

THE ART OF THE STEAL Starring Kurt Russell & Matt Dillon -  TRY IT 


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