There are movies where a crisis of conscience only compounds a problem and assumptions become the exclamation points to a situation that’s already out of control. Blood on Her Name doesn’t even give the audience a chance to say WTF before dropping Leigh’s issues on them with the reveal that the woman has done something ill-advised, but maybe necessary, given that as battered as she looks, the bloodied man on the floor of her garage took the worst of the exchange. The plot of this movie is fairly simple, but the manner in which it spirals out of control is kind of insane at times given how Leigh continually reacts and doesn’t appear to entertain any real deep thought on how to solve her problems. Instead, she makes one huge mistake, then tries to cover it up by making another, then another, and you get the point by now probably since this type of story does tend to highlight a lot of mistakes before a satisfying solution comes along. Even then, one could have anticipated that this movie would end on a rather sour note by the time the credits started to roll.
From the way, things start one can assume that Leigh is in a lot of trouble since the damage she’s taken makes it obvious that she’s been in a scrap, but the dead body and the blood staining the floor makes it clear that things went way too far. Instead of finishing a call to the cops, however, Leigh panics and hangs up the phone, bagging the body with the intent of dumping it in a lake. At the last second, she decides against it and chooses to deliver the body to the deceased man’s girlfriend and son, figuring that they need and deserve closure. But instead of closing the book on the matter this only kicks up enough dirt to stick and sends Leigh’s life into a spiral that isn’t bound to end well.
It doesn’t help that her father, a sheriff nonetheless, is more than willing to bend and even break the laws for his daughter, no matter what he has to do. Some might think that would be kind of uplifting, but it becomes a bit unnerving since from the start it’s clear that Leigh and her father aren’t on the best of terms for things that happened in the past. On top of that, leaving her son with her father for a bit doesn’t make things any better between them since it would appear that Leigh is attempting to raise her son better, and her father is adamant when it comes to teaching his grandson how to fire a gun and possibly defend himself. As things continue to spiral out of control, Leigh does her best to stay on the level but ends up sinking further and further into her own funk, spiraling down the backwoods rabbit hole as her mental state continues to deteriorate from one moment to the next. Guilt over the killing continues to compound as it’s made clear that the body has been found.
When the man’s son ends up attacking Leigh for payback, she and her father take matters into their own hands and tie him up, essentially worsening the situation as his mother comes looking eventually. What happens not long after that is a result of every bad decision that Leigh makes in this movie, and the ending of the movie makes it quite clear that she is not a balanced individual. But there is enough of a twist that leaves this movie ending on a note that some folks might agree is kind of a slap in the face, splash of cold water feeling that was bound to even everything out, but in truth, it was bound to leave a lot of viewers wondering what in the hell happened to turn things this bad. In terms of how easy it is to watch this movie it’s not a hard story to get into or understand, but the utter lack of hope, the denial of any clear-cut solution that might have worked for everyone, is the type of ending that leaves a person with a lot of questions and what-ifs that might have allowed the story to turn out differently.
When looking back on this movie it’s fair to think that there are a lot of things that could have been done differently, but it feels as though the movie went in the direction it needed to despite the lack of any positivity that could have come out of it. The type of ending that was given might make some folks think that the director was fully intent on making each character act from the gutter, but it put a seriously interesting perspective on things since the truth is that life isn’t always bound to end up the way that people want it to, and reflecting this idea in the movies is horribly easy.
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