Marcel Walz continues to be one of the most promising minds in the horror genre. I loved his brutal Blood Feast remake and rustic creature feature Rootwood. He has a definitive look, an artistic approach that makes you instant realize you’re watching a Walz Flick. But Blind. Fuck, Blind is a beast of its very own, and it’s a visual, dramatic orgasm and pulse pounding thriller wrapped in one killer horror film. Written by Joe Knetter, Blind finds former actress Faye (Sarah French) shortly after loosing her eyesight in a botched Lasik eye surgery. She has money and lives in a lavish house in the Hollywood Hills, but the toll of loosing her vision is causing her to be panicked and lonely. Supported by her fellow vision-impaired friend Sophia (Caroline Williams) and Luke, a mute who only communicates through his cell phone, Faye stops being a victim of her own circumstances. With so many ups and downs, her life being a revolving ball of questions has made her unaware of the stranger living in her basement, a stranger who has become infatuated with the former actress. As a love triangle blossoms in the Hollywood Hills, so does a bloodbath that will rock the community forever. Filmed for Silent Partners and directed by Marcel Walz, Blind stars Sarah French (Ouija House), Caroline Williams (Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2), Jed Rowen (Impact Event), Tyler Gallant (Alpha Wolf), Thomas Haley, Ben Kaplan, Michael St. Michael and Jessica Galetti.
Marcel’s films are usually an onslaught of terror, but Blind is slow in ramping up its suspense and scares. It’s more artistic than his previous films, too, and it pleases all five senses. Marcel was aided in this journey by cinematographer Thomas Rist, editor Kai E. Bogatzki, and producers Ruediger W. Kuemmerle and Ivan Hruschka. Together, this group and everyone working behind-the-scenes in the production design department created one of the most beautiful independent features of 2019. Every new angle and location is a stunning piece of cinema, capable winning awards on their own merit. I see slight touches of the 1990’s horror scene in Blind, and this retro feel paired with Marcel’s style reads beautifully on camera. Throw in the masterclass performances from the entire cast and there isn’t a single piece of Blind that’s not top notch, big Hollywood quality. It’s also a thought provoking story of loss, surrender and rebirth; as Faye is hurt, accepts her pain and becomes a stronger woman faced with a psycho killer living in the basement. Faye goes on a powerful, emotional journey that leads to a diabolical rampage which transitions into a true story about a woman’s strength. If you remove the horror and suspense elements from this title, it’s still a mesmerizing, sensational picture highlighted by some of the best acting talent in the business.
Blind is a modern mix of Valentine’s Day (2001) and When A Stranger Calls (1979). This is most mirrored in the subplots of love and revenge, and the killer’s use of a doll mask while hacking apart his victims. He’s creepy and effective and everything a subtle murderer and movie villain should be. His moments on screen coupled with Faye’s inability to see brings genuinely unnerving moments with skin crawling uncertainty. Blind is low on body count, but it’s full of everything else you need from a horror film. I want to focus on other areas of this film, but I keep falling back to how well-shot it is and how amazing the acting is. I’ve followed Sarah French’s work since Shriek of the Sasquatch (2011) and the roller-coaster she’s gone on as an actress is wonderful to see. She’s developed her craft as an actress and is transitioning to a talent who can cry on command and spark great emotion inside a viewer. She’s becoming more than a scream queen, even though her work in Blind is perhaps the best of her career. And Caroline Williams. What can I say about Ms. Williams that hasn’t been said already? There’s people who work to live, and people who live to work. She’s the latter. Caroline dives so deep into every character that you forget she’s acting, and her role in Blind is bound to make you cry just as much as French’s Faye. Ladies, this is how you fucking turn it out!
A heart stopping horror film that’s experienced through all five senses, Blind is a dazzling piece of work that’s unexpectedly therapeutic and a delicate retro throwback. Can’t rave about it enough. Final Score: 10 out of 10.