Only one scene, where Sloan discovers a corpse hanging on the porch, is her blindness actually used in any meaningful way to enhance the film – in fact, that is the main issue with Sloan. Santos plays the character as well as she can, and her performance has moments of snark and wit, so biting it almost distracts from how Ellen Page-esque this role is designed. But the main issue is that she is not an active part of the story, Sloan is an almost entirely passive protagonist. While things simply happen to her, and around her, we get more proactivity and personality from the supporting cast, even though that doesn’t say altogether too much considering they’re all still defined by a combined flood of underutilized exposition. It wouldn’t be as frustrating if the filmmakers gave their characters more immediate objectives that pushed them into new scenarios, forcing them to adapt to each situation as it arises. However, so much of this film is watching these characters milling around inside the house, waiting to get spooked.
“…an earnestness here…amongst the cyclical storytelling and cribbed plotlines…”
The diegetic audio is noticeably compressed in several scenes, to a point where it can be difficult to make out what the characters are saying, and numerous sound effects (such as doors opening) having painful cases of “this came with Soundtrack Pro” to really suck you out of anything that was just happening. This is compounded by a wonky set of old school music stingers that accompany every fakeout jumpscare throughout, and it all gets unimmersive and grating fairly quickly. While the film does have a strong cast, the actors are given frightfully little to help meld into a cohesive and effective thriller, and we’re constantly reminded what kind of film the filmmakers wanted to make – somewhere between Silence of the Lambs and Scream, it seems. With a color scheme and hyper-stark contrast that often makes the film appear near black and white at times (like a digital bleach bypass) mixing dangerously with multiple underlit sequences, it all makes this movie downright frustrating to sit through.
There is an earnestness here that I can pick out amongst the cyclical storytelling and cribbed plotlines, but sadly, that does not save Blindsided – nothing really does.