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Monday, October 7, 2019

BLIND (Film Review)

                                  Starring: Sarah French, Jed Rowen, Caroline Williams

                                                 Directed by: Marcel Walz


  "What you lose in blindness is the space around you, the place where you are, and without that you might not exist. You could be nowhere at all." - Barbara Kingsolver - the quote itself I find particularly terrifying, and in the case of director Marcel Walz's latest film, titled Blind, the idea that what you're not seeing is what could be trying to harm you is one that would put lead in anyone's shorts. The loss of one of our greatest senses is showcased in such a fashion that it will have you covering your eyes at the sight of what someone else cannot that I've truly confused the hell out of all of you, let's traverse our way through this review, shall we?

  Currently making its way around the festival circuit and reeling in some particularly rave reviews, this stoic, yet insanely white knuckled stalker/slasher stars the stunning Sarah French as Faye, a promising actress whose career has hit a concrete roadblock after the loss of her vision, thanks to a botched eye-surgery. Her days and nights are spent in darkness, and her emotions have already bordered upon despondent - her only saving grace has been the help of a support group and that of one of her friends (also vision impaired since birth), played by industry staple Caroline Williams. Faye's got a budding romance with a fellow support group attendee (Tyler Gallant), and a masked admirer of sorts - known as "Pretty Boy" in the credits (Jed Rowen), he watches, he waits...and he brutalizes without remorse. His attention is purely fixed upon the bombshell he sees, and this is the stuff that breeds nightmares in such a way that even people with 20/20 vision will find themselves constantly looking over their shoulders. As for the soundtrack, if the song "Nights in White Satin" wasn't creepy enough for haven't seen ANYTHING yet.

  With direction by Walz and written by horror author Joe Knetter (if you haven't heard of this man's work, SEARCH IT OUT), the film takes on a pulse of its own, and with French's outstanding portrayal of a woman who has lost her livelihood, it's a movie that utilizes hyper-stylization and dream states at times to fuel the story. With tones muted in darkness highlighted by the occasional explosion of neon color, the images pop off the screen with such a vibrant display - let's just say this: it'll be a true crime if this film isn't released on Blu-ray format to showcase its visual grace. Performance-wise, French's presence on-screen is pure gold, and her ability to depict a person with a debilitating impairment such as the loss of vision is a testament to just how far she's come in the business - she's racking up the awards for the role and they're all well-deserved. Bolstered by solid support from Williams and Gallant, there isn't a weak-link in the casting from top to bottom, and story conveyance was paced slowly but not without the lack of tension.

 At the end of it all Blind should check all the boxes for those wanting a plodding, moody slasher that is constructed to be watched with the lights off. If you're one of the lucky ones to have this movie play near you, get your butts out to the theater to immerse yourself in sensory affliction. It's not a crime to feel for a film's characters and this is the first film I've seen in MOONS that's been able to pull off the task - kudos to all involved. It's usually out of my character to give a high rating to a movie, but after checking this one out I'm completely content in the fact that I'm a horror fanatic with an outlet to share my opinions - one of the best indies I've seen this year, bottom line.

RATING: 4 out of 5

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