Blue Ruin

Director: Jeremy SaulnierStarring: Macon Blair, Devin Ratray and Amy Hargreaves

(Cert 15; 90mins)

Blue Ruin sounds like the kind of bloody, B-movie revenge tale that you might imagine is not really your cup of tea.

Too gory or too sleazy. But think again. Director Jeremy Saulnier has taken some familiar ingredients and crafted them into a lean, flinty thriller that can stand comparison with the Coen Brothers’ early efforts.

If you remember Blood Simple or are enjoying the television version of Fargo then this is for you.

It is a film that challenges your expectations not least in a leading character who cuts a singularly unprepossessing figure.

Macon Blair’s Dwight lives on the beach, scavenges in bins and looks to have spent years castaway on a desert island. Not a strapping Charles Bronson-type vigilante.

When he learns that the man who murdered his parents has been released from jail he sets out to kill him, hoping that he can steady his nerves enough to complete the task.His mild-mannered, bumbling nature makes him all the more endearing and provides a sprinkling of gallows humour to balance the brutal deaths and deadly reckonings that follow.

Blue Ruin is impressive for the way it manages to ally expert storytelling to a cinematic vision.

Every single element from the sound design to the cinematography plays a part in building tension and keeping us rooting for an ordinary, fallible man in his pursuit of justice.