Moving to a new city is always very exciting but also very daunting. Will the city be what you think it is? Will you get along with your new neighbours? Will you get homesick? Questions you will face and so does Andy when he moves to LA with his dog Juicebox after a break up with his long-time girlfriend. However, the answers to those questions won’t be what he expected them to be. This new chapter in his life is coming to the small screen (and hopefully to a big one too) thanks to co-writer/director Tyler Savage (“Inheritance”). The result? A very enjoyable, contemporary, and dark movie with a stunning plot twist.
After ending his relationship, Andy (Vincent Van Horn) leaves Austin to go to LA to start all over again. Despite having to leave his friends, music band, and job behind, he’s looking forward to what LA will bring. Andy may or may not be made for LA but he’s certainly made for Sam (Christine Ko), the wonderful woman he meets during a night out. Who knew that that night would change his life forever. After taking rideshare to her place, the two become almost inseparable. Andy has a new girlfriend, a new job, and a great time with his loyal Juicebox. Seems that the move to LA was a great decision after all. However, his newfound happiness is coming to an end when he meets his new friend Roger (Michael Lee Joplin). At first, the friendship seems to be very normal, as it involves drinks, talks, and late nights, but when unexpected and unexplainable events and dark secrets occur not so long after that, it becomes clear that Los Angeles isn’t the city of Angels after all.
Yes, “Blinders” is another thriller/stalker movie so you might think you’ve seen it all. Well, think again because Savage gives his own twists to the story.
First of all, he based this movie on real-life events. During the interview with him, he mentioned that the story was based on his experience with rideshare. During that ride, the driver asked too many personal questions which gave Savage the creeps. Together with co-writer Dash Hawkins, he wrote a story about that and also gave a prominent place to technology. It’s also because of topics such as technology, social media, and the vulnerability of personal details that this movie feels very relatable and contemporary. Facetime, Instagram, and rideshare applications are things we use every day without realizing what consequences they can have. Ok, yes, use of technology and the privacy elements that are connected to it is something that we’ve seen in movies such as “Countdown” and “The Columnist” but for once, it’s a man that’s being stalked and not a woman.
Another reason why this movie captivates you right from the start is the acting. All three lead performances are stunning, big, and bold. Thanks to the excellent Van Horn (“Inheritance”, “Mustang Island”), we get to know Andy from the inside out. We see Andy as the sweet, tender, and passionate guy but also one who can be rough, not afraid of playing it dirty, and who also has a few dark secrets. Ko (“Justine”, “Extracurricular Activities”) her performance as Sam is very sensational and layered as well. She brings a loving, happy, and lively side of Sam beautifully to the screen but at the same time, Ko also shows us that there’s more to her character than what meets the eyes. Last but not least, there’s also a creepy but on-point performance by Michael Lee Joplin (“#Slaughterhouse”, “The Golden Rut”). Even when his character seems to be happy and enjoying the company of Andy, he makes sure that there’s always a dark vibe around Roger. The more the story progresses the darker his performance gets…until that very unexpected plot twist.
The atmosphere that was created during the making of this film is also what’s so mesmerizing about “Blinders”. Cinematographer Antonio Cisneros (“The Illegal”, “Half Widow”) uses wide shots to show us the vibrant, sunny life of the big city that Los Angeles is, especially at the beginning. However, he also choose for close-ups during the conversation and the intimate moments due to which we get to know the characters and their emotions more and more.
“Blinders” just got its world premiere during the online edition of Frighfest and will also be screened during the Austin Film Festival in October. That will be the North American premiere of this movie and a very exciting premiere because many cast and crew members are from Texas. If you would be able to catch the movie during that festival, go for it! Not only because “Blinders” feels very relatable but also because it’s a very cleverly made and stunningly performed movie.