Welcome witches and warlocks,

Today I will be reviewing the dystopian horror/thriller BLIND SUN (2015) by writer/director Joyce A. Nashawati.  To best describe the story, I will use my own plot summary:

The setting is Greece, sometime in the near future.  A seaside resort is struck by a heavy heat wave making water rare.  An immigrant tasked with looking after a villa while a family goes on holiday finds he is not as alone as he thought.

There is a sense of desolation created very early in this feature that gets under the viewer’s skin.  Sure, we see fully standing buildings, inhabited cities, and working machinery, but still there is something about the harshly accentuated sun that leads us to believe that all is not quite right. This feeling is further enforced by the main character, who seems fearful of his current situation right from the first frame.

Our lead himself is a bit of a mystery as we are given very little background on who he was before the film begins.  As the tale progresses, there are little hints presented here and there that clue us into his personality, but much of these come from the performance as opposed to exposition.  This is out of necessity as the majority of this movie is him alone in the villa, trying to stay cool.

Since much of the piece relies upon the acting of Ziad Bakri, I feel I should take a moment to comment upon his portrayal.  As seen on screen, his character is someone who does not come from any great means, works for the wealthy, wants to be good, but keeps feeling himself being pushed around by the system or those with more.  When this sort of person is left to his own devices in a rich estate, it is easy to see why he becomes paranoid that he is being watched.

We spend much of the picture seeing the events unfolding from our lead’s perspective so we too are left wondering who might be watching.  It is hard to guess his stalker’s identity as there are so many external factors that each clue seems like a red herring.  The culprit is left a bit up for debate as the ending can be interpreted in a few different ways.  While this might frustrate some, it keeps perfectly in line with the narrative style and still give us an impactful finale.

From a technical standpoint, by highlighting the clash between water and fire we are treated to a bold color scheme.  This contrast falls nicely into the thematic line of life versus destruction that plays out over the course of the feature.  Without giving too much away, I will say that the final shot highlights the colors while at the same time bringing the tale to a satisfying, thematic conclusion.

All in all, this might be a bit too open ended for some, but those who want something more cerebral will love what this film has to offer.  I particularly enjoyed the use of contrast to show the internal struggle our main character is undergoing.  Fans of isolation based movies like MOON (2009) or pictures with intense color schemes like VERTIGO (1958) would do well to give this a look.

BLIND SUN is available for streaming on Shudder

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