Blind, written by extreme horror legend Joe Knetter, tells the story of Faye, a famous Hollywood actress who was forced into early retirement after a botched laser eye surgery. She lives alone in her dream house, but the loss of her career constantly haunts her and causes her to seclude herself both from her friends and from the public. But there’s a masked stranger lurking within Faye’s basement…and he just loves Faye to death!
The film stars Sarah French, who absolutely kills it as Faye. The level of vulnerability she’s able to show as a newly-blind movie star living alone in Los Angeles takes Knetter’s character-driven screenplay to an extremely human place. We learn a lot about Faye throughout the movie, and the contrast between present-day Faye and clips from mere weeks prior to her surgery demonstrates just how badly the loss of her vision destroyed her spirit. These clips from past talk show interviews show Faye as a person with a bright and outgoing warmth to her personality, someone who’s fame hasn’t yet affected their worldview. She tortures herself by listening to these interviews from her not-so-long-ago glory days, and within the first five minutes of the film I’m already rooting for her to get back up.
Not that Faye is by any means helpless. She attends a support group for people with loss of senses, and she’s found a very close friend in another blind woman named Sophia (played by the incomparable Caroline Williams). There’s also a budding romance between Faye and the leader of the support group, Luke. Luke is mute, and though he can only communicate through his cell phone, he’s found a way to make the best of what life’s dealt him. Though he feels extremely unworthy of Faye, he’s encouraged by Sophia to follow his heart and pursue her.
Enter the masked killer, a silent giant named Pretty Boy (Jed Rowen. He loves Faye too, and he’s not about to let anyone stand between him and his fantasized version of Faye.
The most interesting thing about Blind is how it plays with tropes of the slasher subgenre, which has become mostly tired and stale over the years. We’ve all seen enough movies with masked killers to go into the theater feeling cocky, like we know the movie beat-by-beat before the title card even comes on the screen. In the case of Blind, a lot of the horror lies in the proximity between danger and a woman who’s just growing accustomed to her condition. And it’s not just a masked killer who’s stalking Faye; we also see how the world loves to take advantage of someone in high places who’s fallen down both physically and emotionally.
I’m a sucker for gore, particularly when it’s done well. Blind really nails the juxtaposition between beautiful imagery and gruesome violence, almost to the level of ‘art.’ I’ve never seen a dangerous stalker presented in such a romantic way as Pretty Boy’s obsession with Faye, and even despite his actions throughout the film, I have a hard time feeling anything but sorry for him. He’s obviously someone who’s just as broken inside as Faye, and though we never hear him speak, we know he feels more than just physical lust. He sees a kindred spirit in Faye, and though he’s absolutely fucked in the head, he takes to heart the phrase "True love is blind."
Blind manages to stay suspenseful and engaging from beginning to end, and Walz’s skillful direction and sense of atmosphere truly brings out the best in the silent moments of Knetter’s screenplay.