Review: ‘Blow the Man Down’ is a Well-Crafted Thriller

Blow the Man Down‘ is a small-town thriller that sports an idyllic tone similar to its setting. The indie movie premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival in April 2019 and was made available for online streaming on Amazon Prime in March, 2020.

Morgan Saylor and Sophie Lowe essay the role of two sisters whose mother dies at the start of the movie. The former is known for portraying Dana Brody on ‘Homeland.’ Margo Martindale is also a part of the movie’s cast, playing the pivotal role of Enid, a brothel’s madam.

Blow The Man Down Plot

In a tiny fishing town called Easter Cover in Maine, Mary and Priscilla Connolly have recently lost their mother and host a funeral. A trio of old women: Susie, Gail and Doreen also attend the funeral. They were best friends of Mary and Priscilla’s mother. Mary does not want to stay in the town anymore and leaves the house after an argument with Priscilla that erupts due to the latter not having the told her sister about losing their house.

Mary meets a man, Gorski at a bar and the two leave together in his car. Mary is driving and freaks out after seeing a gun in the car. She crashes the car into a road sign. Then, she sees blood and hair in the car’s boot and runs away from Gorski. Gorski tries to chase her, but Mary stabs him with a harpoon. When he tries to fight back, she kills him with a brick.

Mary tells Priscilla about what happened and the two go back to Gorski’s house to fit his body in a cold storage box after chopping his arms. They throw the box into the sea. The next day, a police officer named Justin comes to the Connollys’ shop to borrow a skiff. Priscilla accompanies Justin on the skiff as he tries looking for a body that washed up on the shore. The body is found and turns out to be of a woman named Dee.

Susie, Gail and Doreen discuss Enid’s brothel and how they want to shut it down. Enid had started the brothel after permission from Mary and Priscilla’s mother who ran the town before her death. They confront Enid about Dee’s body and request her to retire since her brothel is bringing shame to the town. She refuses. Mary finds $50,000 when she goes to Gorski’s house to retrieve the knife that they left there.  Enid ends up finding a knife with the logo of the Connollys’ shop in Gorski’s house. Gorski was her manager.

Enid tells one of her girls, Alexis that Dee was killed by Gorski. Dee was a close friend of Alexis. Enid confronts Mary and Priscilla, telling them about the knife. Threatening them, she offers to give them their knife back if they give her the money back.

Justin asks Mary and Priscilla where they had been on the night of Gorski’s murder. The sisters say they were home. However, he later finds out from a man at the bar that Mary had gone home with Gorski. Alexis finds an old mail from Dee and hears the former say that she cracked the code to Enid’s locker. Alexis opens the locker and finds Dee’s gel nail.

Mary and Priscilla return the money to Enid and take their knife back. After they leave, Alexis smothers Enid with a pillow and kills her. Gail goes to speak to Inspector Colletti, a police officer working with Justin. Mary and Priscilla are walking on the street when they see Susie cleaning the cold storage box in which they had stuffed Gorski’s body.

Blow the Man Down Review:

‘Blow The Man Down’ is an extremely reserved movie, given its genre. There is a lot happening, but nothing boils over to a violent frenzy. Hence, if you are looking for an intense thriller, ‘Blow the Man Down’ might not quite cut it. However, such a simmering-below-the-surface tone is what makes the indie film distinct. The fact that the characters are relatable and the plot believable makes the film surprisingly more engaging.

The characters are sketched up extremely effectively and viewers would find themselves empathizing with their actions even if those actions involve murder. No single actor steals the show, but all of them give memorable performances. Margo Martindale’s Enid and the trio of Susie, Gail and Doreen make it especially difficult to take one’s eyes off the screen.

As mentioned earlier, ‘Blow the Man Down’ cannot be described as intense. Hence, there is no “explosive” ending, despite the conclusion being quite shocking. A better word to describe the end would be cohesive. The shock is not out-of-this-world but makes one appreciate the well-crafted narrative and presents the feminist theme of women looking out for each other aptly. Watch ‘Blow the Man Down’ for its atmospheric grip and a mellow tone that slowly engulfs you with the dark secrets of Easter Cove, Maine.

Rating: 3/5

Read More: Where Was ‘Blow the Man Down’ Filmed?