[Austin Film Festival Review] BLINDERS

[Austin Film Festival Review] BLINDERS
Between yesterday’s fear and today’s technology, everyone knows it’s kind of weird that we’ll get into stranger’s cars, stay in their homes and do literally whatever ends up being cheaper or more convenient. Even though this is pretty normal in 2020, there’s always the question of what – or who – might go wrong. We see this in BLINDERS.

Directed by Tyler Savage, BLINDERS follows Andy (Vincent Van Horn), who’s recently moved to LA after the end of a relationship. Though initially friendless, Andy meets Sam (Christine Ko) and the two become close – too close, that is, for Andy’s ride-share driver and later possessive friend, Roger (Michael Lee Joplin).

From the second Roger returns on-screen, something is obviously wrong with him. We’ve all seen enough crime stories to know that even though he could be a well-meaning awkward guy, that’s never the case. The man you want to have faith in is not only disappointing but also obsessive and a stalker. Andy brushes off Roger’s eccentricities in favor of having a friend, and it’s almost like you’re screaming at the screen for him to jump ship.

BLINDERS doesn’t play every move by the books, but it comes pretty close. Roger takes advantage of Andy’s social media presence to track his whereabouts and hacks all aspects of Andy’s life: from hidden cameras to impersonator phone calls, Andy no longer controls Andy’s life – Roger does, and Roger wants Andy to burn.

Though the movie asks questions about our reliance on social media and how we perceive others, it’s a shallow step beyond what has already been said by everyone else. We overshare, we are not who we pretend to be, we project what we want and repeat the cycle. So?

BLINDERS’ fake wokeness might connect with viewers who need a wake-up call, but pretty much anyone seeing this will already understand the dangers that technology presents. We’re well past the point of detangling social media from our lives. So, instead of scaremongering, how are we going to work towards a safer future?

After making its world premiere at London’s Arrow Video FrightFest Digital Edition in August, BLINDERS had its North American Premiere at the virtual edition of the 27th Austin Film Festival & Writers Conference.

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