Blind is a B-movie horror that tries, in vain, to be artsy. This is half-accomplished through easy methods – glossy cinematography, lots of neon, slow arc shots and dreamy music – but it flat-out refuses to stretch its imagination outside the narrow limits of the typical throwaway thriller. Given director Marcel Walz’s prolific track record in the genre, it’s possible this was his attempt at something new and high-brow. However, at no point during the picture does he reach new heights as a filmmaker.
Walz and screenwriter Joe Knetter have concocted a stalker tale as simple as its title. After a botched laser eye surgery, famous Hollywood actress Faye (Sarah French) is confined to her Hollywood home, but she isn’t as alone as she thinks. It’s a decent-enough setup for the premise of a small-scale suspense, and there’s even a surprising amount of time devoted to character development. Faye’s group of friends are established and seemingly provides an essential dynamic in the plot. Her group therapy sessions and the curious bunch of people who attend, as well as a burgeoning love interest in the form of Luke (Tyler Gallant) serve as adequate foundations for the story – except there isn’t one to be had.
Blind quickly swerves from a third-rate suspense drama to a second-rate slasher film (the latter being much worse), right before all intrigue is jettisoned prior to the end credits. A scaled-back slasher movie featuring a blind protagonist and a masked killer sounds like the epitome of Hitchcock’s rule of suspense. However, stalking scenes alone do not automatically create tension, as viewers laboriously find out in the feature’s various kitchen scenes. A predator with some discernible motivation, stakes at hand to be raised, plot twists or character drama are easy fixes that may have narrowly rescued the narrative from meandering monotony. The picture’s only trick is its generic, masked antagonist, who is accompanied by a creepy revelation that isn’t accentuated much by indifferent editing.
Some dignity is felt in the restraint of the kills and violence. Walz is not sensationally crying for mainstream attention, and apparently just wants to please the devoted horror community, no matter how briefly or predictably. However, a mouth-opening cheat of an ending makes this fact far less admirable. The artsy “cut-to-black” climax is in this case an incredible cop-out and disservice, leaving the audience in a state of dumbfounded frustration rather than shock.
But perhaps that criticism is premature. In a suspicious mirroring of 2017’s It, Blind is only “Part One” of a larger story according to its end title card. There may be a resolve to the finale (which was apparently a cliffhanger?), but whether observers feel respected enough to return for another instalment is a different question.
Blind is released digitally on demand on 16th December 2020 and on Amazon Prime Video on 18th December 2020.
Watch the trailer for Blind here: