Leigh Tiller (played by Ozark’s Bethany Anne Lind) stands over a corpse, shocked at what her hands have wrought in self-defense. Fueled by panic, she races to conceal the murder, planning to dump the body into a nearby pond; faced with the moral dilemma of causing his family the eternal suffering that comes with the declaration of “presumed dead,” she instead decides to find a way to return his body to them, while concealing her involvement.
This isn’t a whodunnit-style mystery; the body shows up during the first few frames and weighs Leigh down like an albatross around her neck throughout; as the film unspools we learn how this accidental murder came to pass and watch how Leigh struggles to rid herself of both the body and the consequences of the murder itself.
Taut, lean, and incredibly tense, Blood on Her Name’s direction and cinematography are a masterclass in atmosphere and paranoia while Lind absolutely owns the film. Matthew Pope’s stunning debut is a tour de force, slow-burn crime thriller and is especially one for the fans of Blue Ruin & Frozen River. It’s one of my favorite films this year and I’m not only incredibly excited for the Beyond Fest family to see it, but also to see where Pope’s career goes from here.
Director: Matthew Pope
Huluween Theatre @The Egyptian