Is the Amazon thriller Blow the Man Down scary? what is the story about?


Morgan Saylor, Priscilla Lowe and Margo Martindale in 'Blow the Man Down.'

Easter Cove is the sort of quaint port town that dots long stretches of the Northeastern seaboard’s coast, home to a community of fishermen and widows and maybe a drunken fuck-up or three. It’s the sort of small town that can seem cozy or claustrophobic; for Mary Beth Connolly (Homeland‘s Morgan Saylor), it’s definitely the latter. She’s hoping to go to “UMaine” next year for college, something she’s already postponed so she and her sister, Priscilla (Sophie Lowe), could take care of their dying ma and tend to the family’s corner store. “You’ll be glad ya put family first,” says one of a trio of busybodies (played by Annette O’Toole, June Squib and 30 Rock‘s Marceline Hugot) at their mother’s wake. Mary Beth, however, is starting to see the walls closing in. The fact that the sisters may potentially lose the house isn’t helping.

Morgan Saylor, Priscilla Lowe and Margo Martindale in 'Blow the Man Down.'

Morgan Saylor, Priscilla Lowe and Margo Martindale in 'Blow the Man Down.'

This is how she winds up trashed in a bar while still in her black funeral dress, and then in the car of a local gent (Ebon-Moss Bachrach) who’s clearly bad news, and then, through a series of circumstances, holding a bloody harpoon. It’s also how Mary Beth eventually ends up in the possession of a corpse and a bag of loot, a typical occurrence in crime stories of this ilk. There’s every reason to think that Blow the Man Down, the debut feature from Bridget Savage Cole and Danielle Krudy, is going to tread down a very well-trod pulped-out path: Good people make bad decisions. Everything goes to hell in a decorative handbasket. What starts out as a simple plan will be destined to become, well, A Simple Plan redux.

Intertwining these two strands together — and throwing in a nosy new-recruit policeman (Will Brittain) and a suspicious young employee of Enid’s (GLOW‘s Gayle Rankin) for good measure — Blow the Man Down winds its way around the notion the behind every small town’s facade is a whole mess of secrets. This is not news, especially when it comes to thrillers. But there’s an undertow happening under the murder, money and menace aspects. There are not just two stories going on in this movie but two conceptual notions, one of which plays a somewhat slack shell game with old pulp clichés. The other has to do with the way the community views its female denizens, and the ways in which a matriarchy is needed to keep order. Keep your eye on that, and you suddenly realize how Cole and Krudy have slyly used the genre elements as a cover. It’s a good thing to remember while you watch this. That, and the fact that he locals always take care of their own.