Jed Rowen in Blind (Photo: Uncork’d Entertainment)
★★ (out of four)
DIRECTED BY Marcel Walz
STARS Sarah French, Caroline Williams
The thriller Blind has a good premise, a good cast of characters, and a good understanding of the plight of the handicapped. There’s so much goodness, in fact, that it’s a downright tragedy that the film ends so awfully.
The first 76 minutes of this 88-minute movie are far from perfect, but they get the job done. Faye Dayne (Sarah French) is a successful Hollywood actress who now finds herself blind following botched laser surgery. Sophia (Caroline Williams, the heroine of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2) has been sightless since birth, so she’s been an invaluable friend to Faye, attempting to help her get over her self-pity and learn to embrace her new life. That new life could potentially involve Luke (Tyler Gallant), a mute personal trainer who has fallen for Faye.
Putting together a blind woman and a mute man sounds like something out of a 1970s comedy — actually, Young Frankenstein with its mute monster and blind hermit comes close — but this aspect of the film is handled sensitively. In fact, director Marcel Walz and scripter Joe Knetter exhibit great patience with the expository sequences, allowing viewers to understand and appreciate these characters.
Into this mix comes a psychopath billed in the credits as “Pretty Boy” (Jed Rowen). That moniker is due to the mask he wears throughout the movie. His whole raison d’etre seems to be to stalk Faye, as he’s constantly watching her dance, eat, shower, and feel sorry for herself. When an obnoxious delivery dude-bro (Ben Kaplan) sneaks about the place smelling Faye’s panties and filming her — well, let’s just say it’s the only time we’re on Pretty Boy’s side.
Some decent people also die, which is of course expected in any given horror flick. But it’s when the movie hits those final dirty dozen minutes that it completely falls apart. Beforehand, there are certainly weak stretches, but they can be grudgingly overlooked (too many scenes of Faye just listening to music, and let’s not get started on the plotholes). But it’s that final reel that’s unforgivable, beginning with an obvious fake-out, continuing with a monologue from Faye that goes on forever, and ending with a default to Generic Slasher Flick mode. It’s at this point that the entirety of the movie is callously dismissed for the sake of some cheap thrills as well as an infuriating fade-out that might leave some viewers throwing popcorn bowls at their television set and wishing that they had opted to see no evil by skipping Blind.
(Blind is available on Amazon Prime, Fandango Now, Vudu, and other streaming platforms.)