The debut film from the Coen Brothers, 1984 neo-noir Blood Simple follows Loren Visser (M. Emmet Walsh) a private detective hired by bar owner Julian Marty (Dan Hedaya). Julian suspects that his wife Abby (Frances McDormand) is having an affair with one of Julian’s employees, a bartender named Ray (John Getz). There are double-crosses and dastardly deeds in this film, whose sharp art direction oozes tension, creating a beautiful atmosphere of stark fear and creeping dread amidst the heat and machismo of Texas. Blood Simple deftly demonstrates the Coens’ ability to tell a suspenseful story with incredible style, and is also notable for being the feature film debut of Frances McDormand.
★★★★★ “As black, sinful and nasty as a weekful of Hitchcocks” — Empire