Blame Film Review :
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A drama teacher’s taboo relationship with an unstable student strikes a nerve in her jealous classmate, sparking a vengeful chain of events within their suburban high school that draws parallels to ‘The Crucible’.
When we first see teenager Abigail Grey, she is in her bedroom, buttoning up a conservative white blouse, putting on a calf-length plaid skirt. Glass animals line the window sills. Before she leaves, she picks up a copy of Tennessee Williams’ The Glass Menagerie, revealing Flora Rheta Schreiber’s Sybil underneath, the 1973 book about a woman with multiple personalities. It’s hard to tell what time period we’re in. It seems from the jump that “Blame” will not be your typical coming-of-age tale.
It’s not. Quinn Shephard, 22 years old, plays Abigail, and not only directed the film but wrote the script while she was still in high school. “Blame” uses the familiar scaffolding of other high school stories: social ostracism, peer pressure, absent adults, and yet it swirls with strangeness, both subtle and deep, breaking rules as it goes. The film gets increasingly hallucinatory as it progresses, and there’s a vivid sense of growing danger.
Abigail reenters high school after six months in a psych ward. It’s unclear what caused her breakdown. She is a notorious figure, surrounded by snickering and mockery. She walks through the hallways in her anachronistic clothes like an apparition. She also limps. But only sometimes. Is she trying to be Laura Wingfield in The Glass Menagerie? Shephard keeps Abigail cloaked in mystery, and that’s one of the film’s greatest strengths. On the surface, she’s a shy wallflower, but there’s something underneath. It soon becomes clear that Abigail’s behavior is impossible to predict.