‘Blow the Man Down’ deep dives into thrilling small-town mystery


Noah Levine

Gone Fishing … forever.

“Blow The Man Down” is a new Amazon original film, written and directed by Danielle Krudy and Bridget Savage Cole. The unsettling thriller follows two sisters as they try and cover up a murder in their small town. As the duo goes to great lengths to conceal their crime, a much more sinister plot unravels around them.

Sophie Lowe’s Priscilla Connolly and Morgan Saylor’s Mary Beth Connolly complement each other greatly as polar opposite sisters. Priscilla is straight-faced and driven by work, while Mary Beth is impulsive and unpredictable. Both actresses fit these parts perfectly, conveying these distinctive attitudes through dialogue delivery and physical performances.

Margo Martindale is a force to be reckoned with in the role of Enid, infusing a delicious coy and evil attitude with her character while consistently showcasing confidence and control over her scenes. Enid is rooted deep in the town of Easter Cove’s dark underbelly, and watching her slowly close in on the Connolly sisters is both unnerving and entertaining. As the cracks of her facade begin to show, Martindale delivers a ranged and powerful performance in the film’s final few scenes.

UT alumnus Will Brittain is innocently charming in the role of Officer Brennan. Watching him pursue a dark criminal case while still acting as a youthful and caring Catholic student is a delight. His character’s presence and performance feels similar to that of the police in “Fargo,” where an eclectic police officer is tasked with investigating a gruesome crime.

The cinematography and editing, combined with the score, convey an eerie yet beautiful atmosphere to the film. Constant cutaways to sailors harmonizing and the endless ocean among blue moonlight drape the film with a consistent, unsettling feeling. The sharp strings and fast tempo of the score give the film a hint of horror DNA, adding additional tension and terror. Still-framed shots and smooth dynamic movements keep the film uncomfortably static, despite the unpredictable danger that resides throughout the film.

The costume and set design add visual layers to the storytelling. Several characters have unique beanies, ranging from bright reds to complex patterns that match their personalities. Additionally, the houses in Easter Cove have interesting door knockers, some of which include a mermaid and a lion. These visual elements complement the world and characters who inhabit the film.

The narrative constantly flows while jumping between different characters and aspects of the story. These moments are spread out relatively evenly, although the focus seems to shift away from the Connolly sisters for a bit too long. The narrative arch starts small, but progressively grows to include several other characters, which will keep audiences engaged and excited. The narrative digs into dark and disturbing material but never once feels uncomfortable overdoing it. In terms of faults, the narrative’s conclusion does feel a bit anticlimactic and partially confusing, but the journey toward it is sufficiently intriguing.

“Blow the Man Down” is a wonderfully twisted and intriguing small-town thriller, incorporating elements similar to those in fan-favorite cinematic mysteries like “Twin Peaks” and “Fargo.”

3.5 Sea Shanties out of 5