Written by Becky Darke – exclusive reporter for FrightFest 2020

Blinders is a taut, twisty thriller directed by Tyler Savage and starring Vincent Van Horn as Andy, who kicks off our story by moving to LA after a relationship ends badly, Christine Ko (Tigertail, 2020) as mysterious love interest Sam, and Michael Lee Joplin as the freakily too-keen new buddy Roger.

The film is driven by an engaging energy between Ko and Van Horn, their chemistry eminently watchable as their new romance develops. Joplin imbues Roger with a desperation and aggressiveness that quickly lets the audience know we should not like this guy’s vibe.

Savage intersperses the human action with shots of LA, making beautiful use of the city, and mixes split screens, digital devices, and static and handheld filming, to vibrant effect.

This is a movie about masks, pretence, dishonesty, outward appearances versus private truths. Ultimately, as Roger tells Andy: “It’s so easy to lie”.

There’s an effective dread that runs like a sewer beneath the usual stuff about settling in, getting to know new people and ‘harmless’ pranks, and when things kick off it’s a convincing descent into chaos and panic. I advise going in knowing as little as possible for the full impact of what unfolds.

Verdict: 4 out of 5

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