Flawed characters are a must in genre films. Archetypes heroes will always do the right thing the squeaky clean way. The anti-heroes will hurt, lie and scheme to get the right thing done at the cost of their soul. But flawed characters are necessary for that other crime story, the one in which the goal is not to do justice but to escape it. The crime is murder. The objective is to get away scot free. And the choices taken are all wrong. If you don’t identify with someone that taken a few wrong turns and is still paying for their mistakes, congratulations on your upcoming sainthood. The rest of us will identify with flaws more than with virtue.
Blood On Her Name is a creation of director Matthew Pope who wrote it with Don Thompson. Leigh Tillis (Bethany Anne Lind) is owns a car repair shop. One fateful night finds her standing next to a dead body, blood pouring over the floor, a wrench at her feet. Someone has ended up dead. We don’t know the circumstances, but it’s up to Leigh now to decide what to do. There are factors to consider. Her son is on probation for blinding a kid in one eye. Her ex-husband is in prison. Her own record is smudged. She doesn’t get along with her father, who happens to be the local sheriff.
Committing a crime and trying it to cover it up is the premise of a lot of crime thrillers, but this time we’re not following the brave detective who’ll uncover the truth. We’re following the person trying to cover it up. Leigh has too much to lose and things she can’t lose. She’s also not a criminal mastermind or a cold-hearted killer. She will make many mistakes, involve the wrong people and give herself away carelessly while the suspense builds up and more people are involved who have flaws of their own and things to lose. It’s a very well built, character-driven narrative where nobody is thinking clearly and everything goes from bad to worse fast.
Recommended for fans of crime thrillers and suspense. It’s one of those movies that will not have a nice resolution and will keep the audience second-guessing each decision the characters make. Bethany Anne Lind delivers a strong performance in the leading role. The story is tightly knit, without grand gestures or victory poses. It’s definitely not an uplifting movie, so this one is not really for the casual viewer. It can be a little nerve-wrecking to see characters make obvious unwise choices, so you will have to resist the urge to yell at the screen often. Nobody is getting away clean.
That will do for now.