Blind (2020)

Marcel Walz
Running Time: 88 Minutes
Certification: 15
Starring: Sarah French, Caroline Williams, Tyler Gallant, Jed Rowen, Thomas Haley, Ben Kaplan

How well would we adapt to losing one of our senses? They're something we're so used to, taking them for granted, so the question lingers; how much of our everyday lives could we resume? Would we be able to tell of any changes occurring around us? That's the basic premise here, as a freak accident results in Faye (Sarah French) losing her vision. Once a well-known actress, she struggles to come to terms with the change of circumstances. Living alone, she laments the loss of her career, unaware that a masked stranger is living in her basement.

If the basic premise interests you, as a lonely lead is left to combat a sinister force while missing one of their senses, then I have good news for you. Mike Flanagan's Hush is available to watch on Netflix. In this films case, director Marcel Walz has taken an interesting premise, and utilised it in disastrous ways.

Our central figure is Faye, a former actress that's struggling to adjust to such a major change in her life. A botched eye surgery has caused her loss of sight, and effectively killed her career as a result. Her only help come in the forms of Sophia, a friend who has been blind since birth, and Luke, a mute personal trainer that is attracted to Faye. Be sure not to get attached to their characters, as the film quickly shuffles these more interesting figures off the board.

Once the focus is firmly on Faye, screenwriter Joe Knetter contains the proceedings to her house. Residing in her basement is a hidden figure wearing a mask, named in the credits as Pretty Boy. He's seemingly motivated by infatuation, but it's difficult to keep one's attention on the screen to clarify that. Walz has it all unfold at a dreadfully slow pace, as what's on-screen plays out like an embarrassing soap opera, with each line delivery feeling so stilted.

Most bizarre is how, even when the body-count rises, it feels like not much happens. This is because the filmmakers have oddly made Faye oblivious to the danger around her. In 1978, the world saw John Carpenter achieve such tension in Halloween, as Laurie Strode worried about Michael Myers from the smallest of glimpses. Here, it takes almost an hour for Faye to realise there's something to worry about, and even that is brushed away so quickly. This one-sided occurrence makes for a frustrating watch, and it isn't helped by how passive the lead is. With how little she impacts the plot, little would've changed if she was replaced with a lamp.

In spite of all this, what's most infuriating is how the film can't even stick to its guns. Early on, a scene appears devoted to making a point, detailing how a person going blind can make the other senses grow stronger. Considering the time is taken to detail this, it's maddeningly how the film can't even stick to this internal logic it sets up. Faye serves as the audience surrogate for this world, and would've been a suitable vessel to depict this myth on-screen. Instead, she's unable to hear somebody stomping around her house, bringing victims into the basement, and committing murder. Perhaps this would explain how a blind woman can light so many candles on her floor, but that's a rather charitable reading. Ultimately, it's foolish to look for sense in a film which doesn't care about it.

Blind is available to rent from Video on Demand services