Blue Ruin (2013)
Here's another revenge movie in the vein of Jeff Nichols' Shotgun Stories. As with Nichols' film, Blue Ruin is made on a shoestring budget, deals with a family feud in small-town USA, and asks us to understand but not necessarily sympathize with its characters. The theme is as single-minded as Dwight, our protagonist: revenge is all he seeks, and revenge is all he's going to get, but the film is cleverly structured and told by writer/director Jeremy Saulnier who keeps his camera at Dwight, and never lets him feel safe. Dwight is never quite on top of the situation, and this combined with the fact that we don't know or quite understand his enemy makes the film incredibly tense and suspenseful. And if the ending makes you feel empty, or even angry, I suspect the filmmakers feel they've succeeded. Overall fine acting by rather unknown performers only serves to accentuate Saulnier's talent.