REVIEW: Blind (FrightFest 2020)
Plot Synopsis: Faye is a former actress who lost her vision, and starry career, due to botched laser eye surgery. Struggling to put her lonely and panic-stricken life back together while living alone in her Hollywood Hills dream house, she’s supported by her visually impaired friend Sophia, and her mute physical trainer, Luke. However, what none of them are aware of is the infatuated stranger secretly living in her basement. And the masked Pretty Boy doesn’t wait until dark to finally make his move.
FrightFest is once again back in full swing, but for the first time in online only, digital form instead. As Covid-19 continues to rear its ugly head, and is having a particularly detrimental effect on mass gatherings and events, the organisers of FrightFest have quickly adapted to ensure the festival keeps going. It’s a miracle and a wonder that we are even getting the festival this year, and a very welcome one as well. In these crazy and uncertain times that we are currently finding ourselves living in, what could be better than delving into the darker side of cinema!
There is something universally frightening about home invasion horrors where a crazed serial killer, demon spirit or some other form of evil entity somehow invades one’s place of solitude. A place where the unfortunate victim has nowhere left to escape, trapped in the formerly ‘safe’ confines of their own home. It’s a horror sub-genre that has always appealed to me, and it has proven time and time again that it makes for really great and engrossing cinema. This is one of the main reasons why I wanted to check out Blind from the expansive FrightFest line-up.
Sharing a similar premise with Mike Flanagan’s brilliant Netflix film Hush (2016), here we have another female protagonist who’s personal life is restricted due to her visual impairment, caused by a freak accident. The main difference between Blind and the aforementioned Hush, being that in this film being the serial killer/crazed stalker/obsessed fan (delete as appropriate) is already inside the house. How he managed to get inside is anyone’s guess really, and it’s one of the many plot holes that unfortunately ruined all the enjoyment in this ultimately disappointing film experience.
It really pains me to say that this is, without a single doubt in my mind, the worst film I have seen at the festival so far, and I doubt it will be beaten! The film proves to be an incredibly frustrating watch, presenting more questions than it ever gives answers to and basically leaving me with a massive headache. It would probably take me all day to list all of the pressing questions this film threw up, but here’s just a taste…
What are the motives of the deranged masked lunatic? Why does he have such a creepy fascination with china dolls down in her basement, and what is the point of him playing out weird sexual fantasies with them (yes you did read that correctly!)? Perhaps most annoyingly, nothing actually happens to the lead protagonist, and when all of the supporting characters meet their demise off screen, you’re left wondering what the point of all of it is! The premise is creepy, and it adds in all of the classic tropes (masked lunatics, creepy dolls etc.), however it does absolutely nothing with any of it.
If the filmmakers were trying to make a really effective stalker picture here, then they clearly missed the mark by a considerable mile. This film is low budget trash, and not even enjoyable in a ‘so bad, it’s good’ kind of way either. The dialogue is incredibly poorly written, the acting is atrocious and as a whole, the film is just so goddamn boring!
One of the most absurd aspects of this film is the choices made for the antagonists’ appearance. He looks totally wrong for the part, with a mask too small for his face, and a ridiculous green wig that makes him look too comical to be threatening. There are two scenes that made me absolutely HOWL with laughter, however this is clearly not meant to be funny. The choices are just so awful and ridiculous, and by this point I lost all patience with it. Seriously, this film makes Tommy Wiseau’s The Room look like an Oscar-worthy masterpiece…
Overall, Blind had absolutely no sense of dread, suspense or terror. It was lifeless, boring and completely devoid of any redeeming qualities. It was a very painful and excruciating watch that I honestly wouldn’t want to put anyone else through. Avoid!
Directed by Marcel Walz
Written by Joe Knetter
Starring Sarah French, Jed Rowen, Caroline Williams and Tyler Gallant