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  Blind Unseen Enemy
Year: 2019
Director: Marcel Walz
Stars: Sarah French, Caroline Williams, Tyler Gallant, Jed Rowen, Thomas Haley, Ben Kaplan, Jessica Galetti, Sheri Davis, Kevin Cooper, Michael St Michaels
Genre: HorrorBuy from Amazon
Rating:  4 (from 1 vote)
Review: Faye Dayne (Sarah French) used to be an up-and-coming star in movies, with a promising career to live for, but then when she had laser eye surgery it all went horribly wrong for she went blind when the operation was mishandled drastically. She still has her swanky home in the Hollywood hills, so that is a comfort, but aside from that she hardly sees anyone, preferring to sit around listening to recordings of her old celebrity interviews on television. However, there have been moves to get her back into day-to-day life with a support group, and its leader, Luke (Tyler Gallant), who cannot speak, has a crush on Faye and wants her to feel better about her admittedly thwarted existence. But she has a fan who is taking an unhealthy interest...

How difficult is it to botch the old "terrorise the blind lady" plot? Watch this little item and find out. Even in the least of them, Eyes of a Stranger, Jennifer Jason Leigh was placed in some situations that would give most audiences the creeps, but the director here, Marcel Walz, had made a fatal mistake in that he did not alert his blind lady to the peril she was in, leaving a set of sequences that would be better as comedy, a la the blind hermit played by Gene Hackman in Young Frankenstein. But there was no humour here, not even of the unintentional variety, it merely coasted along glacially on its premise while not doing a whole lot with it other than occasionally throwing in a murder of one of its relatively tiny cast of characters - characters who were important to the plot, anyway.

Though even that was stretching it, as there was very little to engage, with our protagonist taking the privilege of our sympathy for her lack of sight and roundly abusing it with a set of decisions that made you think, well, does she not at least have a creaking floorboard in that house of hers, anything that would alert her to the fact she is not alone? We are told early on that blind folks have their other senses enhanced to help them cope with their disability, but while Faye did not need to be Daredevil, we see precious little evidence of that when the bad guys (there are more than one) can walk up and stand right next to her and she is none the wiser. Somehow she does not hear people being murdered around her either, prompting you to ponder what a thriller starring Helen Keller would have been like.

Walz, whose "biggest" movie previous to this had been a remake of Herschel Gordon Lewis's Blood Feast that was not too well received, tried to make up for the lack of incident or satisfying characters with a self-conscious style over substance approach, adorning his set with enough fairy lights to have you question whether Blind was actually a Christmas movie (there's even a fake pine tree in there), but Home Alone was more bloodthirsty and sadistic. The small amount of potential victims drained the suspense from the piece since it was obvious who was going to be offed, and Caroline Williams (from Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2) may have remembered to bring a personality to the project, but nobody else had. Ex-hockey player Gallant had been given a device to speak his lines for him, so how bad was he at delivering them normally that they had to resort to making him mute? Yet another distraction the film didn't need, but just about forgivable - unlike the twist at the end credits, which revealed why the storyline simply cut off rather than drew to a conclusion. Music by Klaus Pfreundner.

[FrightFest Presents and Signature Entertainment present Blind on Digital HD from November 16th and Amazon Prime Video 18th December 2020.]
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

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