In its 85-minute runtime, this air-tight and confident directional debut, an exercise in Midwestern small town murder and revenge neo-noir, manages to do a whole lot, pleasantly surprisingly so. "Blood on Her Name" is primarily a character study, a study of guilt and remorse that shows how most of us could never cope with having committed a terrible and immoral crime. Compelling and tense story and its morale center teams with the equally compelling lead performance to highlight this top tier indie thriller.
In "Blood on Her Name" Leigh, a single mom with enough trouble on her shoulders, finds herself crumbling down in panic after having accidentally killed someone. Guilt takes over quickly and chaos ensues as she chooses to deliver the dead man's body to his family. It's a tightly made, consistently engaging movie, despite the plot being relatively small-scale and on simple terms. Via director's careful attention to the character's emotions and morales, dilemmas and the search for what's right, "Blood on Her Name" goes a level deeper and draws the viewer into experiencing the dark side of the human, a person in trouble, her actions and consequences. Morally complex rather than complex story-wise. "Blood on Her Name" is, by all standards, a bleak drama/thriller, filled with unrelenting tension and completely devoid of humor, which some might find that a little problematic. The movie is further supported by authentic performances, most notably the lead one, by Bethany Anne Lind. Will Patton offers up another good version of his seemingly frequent character of a bad-man-in-disguise & main cast is concluded with equally good work by Elisabeth Rohm, Jared Ivers and Jimmy Gonzales. Visually "Blood on Her Name" might not be a stand-out of any kind, but it is undeniably shot and edited competently and effectively, further atmospherically tweaked with a subtle original score and befittingly grey and dirty color grading.
In the niche of southern gothic / small town murder / down-and-dirty psychological thriller and such, "Blood on Her Name" is great addition. Coincidentally, another spiritually very similar movie tcame out the same day as "Blood on Her Name" - "Disappearance at Clifton Hill". It has really been a great day for indie thrillers. My rating: 7/10.