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Film review: Blue Ruin

Move over Macbeth. The plight of one of Shakespeare's more conflicted homicidal maniacs is one with which the central player in this suspenseful thriller could easily identify.

Played convincingly by Macon Blair, Virginia vagrant Dwight cuts a likeable, presence during the moody opening sequence of this taut affair.

Home is the battered Pontiac in which he sleeps down by the ocean, while the kind eyes hidden behind his dishevelled red hair and beard combination seem more suited to a tree-hugger than a character soon, to quote the aforementioned Macbeth, to be in "blood stepped in so far" that turning back isn't an option.

The carnage catalyst is the news that Will Cleland (David W Thompson), the hillbilly type imprisoned for killing Dwight's parents, is due to be released. Driven to exact retribution, Dwight targets the celebration being held to mark his release from prison. Soon the global hillbilly population has been reduced by one.

But the Clelands' decision to deal with the crime "in-house" means that Dwight's family are now potential collateral damage. His worst fears are confirmed when two members of the Cleland clan show up at Dwight's sisters home. Cue kill-em-all or be killed scenario.

Strong suspense levels help maintain good momentum and Blair anchors proceedings admirably. The conclusion is a tad contrived, but there are enough twists and turns along the way to ensure that genre fans will be suitably thrilled.

P McK

Opening on Friday

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