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Blinders Movie Review

Written by Joel Harley

article-cover

Directed by Tyler Savage
Written by Dash Hawkins and Tyler Savage
2020, 90 minutes, Not Yet Rated
FrightFest English premiere on 31st August 2020

Starring:
Christine Ko as Sam
Vincent Van Horn as Andy
Michael Lee Joplin as Roger
Dusty Sorg as Cheeto

Review:

New to town and feeling lonely, musician and tutor Andy (Vincent Van Horn) befriends ride-share driver Roger (Michel Lee Joplin), bonding superficially over a beer. Unfortunately, the jealous driver is left feeling spurned when Andy meets cute with a local girl (Christine Ko), blowing him off to spend time on his new relationship. So far, so Jim Carrey. But Andy is quick to learn that the hot-tempered, monstrous Roger is more Taxi Driver than The Cable Guy.

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Tyler Savage’s Blinders boasts a familiar premise and story, but it’s treated more seriously than most. The balding, unassuming Roger isn’t much too look at, but he’s a real threat, and neither Savage nor co-writer Dash Hawkins waste much time in pretending any differently. It’s not long at all before Roger graduates from prank calls and verbal abuse to physical violence and actual murder. Which leaves viewers in a heightened state of anxiety as to what might become of Andy’s adorable dog, Juicebox.

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Blinders updates the classic stalker template with up-to-date technological thrills and surprises; this is a film about identity theft and stalking for the ride-sharing Instagram age. Sadly, that film already exists in 13 Cameras (yuck), Creep and The Fanatic, making this one feel as redundant as it is predictable. It’s shot and filmed well enough, but doesn’t bring enough to the table to stand out from the rest of the chaff. Sure, Andy is a scary guy, but he never goes quite far enough in his campaign against Roger to truly terrify. Nor is there any real reason to care about any of the characters. The actors are good enough, but it's impossible to get past the paper-thin writing and characterization.

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There’s a point, and Savage does get to it eventually, but by then it’s too little, too late. Had this been made in the early nineties (where it belongs, and would probably have starred Ray Liotta or Michael Keaton), Blinders would work well enough. It’s clean, sharp and solidly acted. Even its weirdly low-rent villain is effective. But a few references to Instagram and Snapchat aren’t enough to make its super basic story compelling or relevant.

Grades:

Movie: 2.5 Star Rating Cover
Buy Amazon Uk

About The Author
Joel Harley
Staff Writer
Haribo fiend, Nicolas Cage scholar and frequently functioning alcoholic. These are just some of the words which can be used to describe Joel Harley. The rest, he uses to write film criticism for Horror DNA and a variety of websites and magazines. Sometimes he manages to do so without swearing.
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