A very bloody film noir, directed with tremendous ingenuity by Jeremy Saulnier, Blue Ruin benefits from its pared-down style and macabre humour.
The early part of the movie has next to no dialogue. Dwight Evans (Macon Blair) is a bearded hobo who tries to avenge a double homicide but, in doing so, ignites a ferocious family feud.
Saulnier, a cinematographer as well as a director, has a genius for framing. There is a subtlety and grace to his storytelling that is only partly undercut by the explosions of Grand Guignol-style violence.
Like the Coen brothers, he is also adept at infusing a revenge story that is as overwrought and darkly melodramatic as any Greek tragedy with comic elements.
Blair has an engaging deadpan fatalism as the hapless anti-hero, who quickly discovers that once the killing starts, it is very difficult to stop.