Review: ‘Blow The Man Down’ provides suspenseful seaside mystery

Matt Hampton, Editor-in-Chief

Many of us find ourselves stuck at home during the global coronavirus pandemic.  So for this series, “What To Watch During Quarantine (Or Not),” we’ll review some of the latest releases on streaming services to watch – or not watch – from home.  

The mystery drama “Blow The Man Down,” released on Amazon Prime Video on Friday, March 20, excels at telling a suspenseful story.  

The film is set in Easter Cove, Maine, a quaint fishing town reminiscent of Stephen King’s “IT,” even though “Blow The Man Down” is set in the present day.

The movie quickly establishes an atmosphere of unease, foreshadowing that not everything in Easter Cove is as it first seems.  This tone is enforced by its ominous soundtrack, which includes performances of the sea shanty that shares the film’s title sung acapella by a group of fishermen with sonorous voices.  

“Blow The Man Down” is the work of independent writer-directors Danielle Krudy and Bridget Savage Cole, and its female-centered cast provides good performances all around.  

The main characters, sisters Priscilla (Sophie Lowe) and Mary Beth Connolly (Morgan Saylor), are introduced after their mother’s death when they are at risk of losing their house.  

One night, Mary Beth kills a man in self-defense, so the sisters set out to keep the death secret, and end up uncovering secrets about their town and their late mother.  As the plot thickens, they find themselves at odds with Enid Nora Devlin (Margo Martindale), the mysterious woman who runs the town’s brothel.

“Blow The Man Down” does a good job of showing the sense of dread that motivates its characters and presenting scenes in an unsettling way, even if they appear normal on the surface.  

The dark comedy’s distinct cinematography accentuates its bleak tone (Some reviewers have compared its style and story to the Coen brothers’ “Fargo.”). 

At only an hour and a half long, “Blow The Man Down” leaves the audience wishing it had a longer climax.  But if you have Amazon Prime, it will be an engaging watch during self-isolation (The characters definitely know the importance of thorough hand-washing, though not for the sake of hygiene.).

Rating: 4/5 stars.

MPAA Rating: R

Running time: 91 minutes.