Movie Review: ‘Blood On Her Name’

Review by James Lindorf

Director, co-writer, and co-producer Matthew Pope’s crime thriller Blood on Her Name opens with Leigh Tiller (Bethany Anne Lind) standing in a pool of blood. A large wrench in her hand and a dead man at her feet. Looking at what has happened, Leigh asks herself one question, now what. The answer to that question drives the film for the next 80 minutes and leaves Leigh asking that question over and over. Blood on Her Name also stars Will Patton (Remember the Titans) and Elizabeth Röhm (American Hustle). It will be released in multiple major cities across the country as well as on VOD platforms on February 28th.

When the crime takes place before the opening credits, the movie is either going to be about revenge/justice for that crime or how the perpetrator responds to what happened. Blood on Her Name is less about the who, the why, or the punishment; instead, it focuses on Leigh’s guilty conscience. While disposing of the body may have protected her and her teenage son, she is unable to face the idea of the victim’s family, never knowing what happened. The daughter of a sheriff knows that the more time she spends with the body, the more chances she will be seen or leave behind evidence, and it is that fear that sends her spiraling out of control.

With so much of an emphasis on a single character, it is essential that the person in the lead role can handle that responsibility. Bethany Anne Lind is a relative unknown unless you are a fan of the streaming series Ozarks and Reprisal. Still, talent doesn’t have to be known to be great. Bethany turns in a stellar performance as this angry ex-wife, worried mother, and bitter daughter doing what she can to make the best of a terrible situation. She is in a battle with Elisabeth Moss (The Invisible Man) for best performance so far this year. If enough eyes and dollars find their way to Blood on Her Name, this may be the last time anyone refers to her as a relatively unknown. Will Patton is always a welcome presence in a film, and Elizabeth Röhm turns in good a performance. Still, they are both dwarfed by Lind in what the script asks them to do and in performance.

Matthew Pope and his writing and producing partner Don M. Thompson wrote a well-paced thriller. Given the circumstances, Leigh finding herself in this situation seems perfectly reasonable, at least as normal as murder can be. The only problem is that at almost every single opportunity, Leigh makes a dumb decision. Maybe that should be expected of a novice criminal. However, for viewers that like Leigh, and believe she deserves a second chance, her choices can be infuriatingly bad from start to finish. This frustration could sour the film for some viewers. Hopefully, when they look beyond that, they can appreciate Lind’s performance, and that Blood on Her Name is an excellent looking well-structured film. 

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