A dark, sweaty, seedy nightmare of a movie, Blood Simple is one of the most atmospheric films eve. Quiet and lonely, sparse and bleak, playing against a strikingly visceral Texas backdrop of dark highways stretching into nothingness and open empty landscapes. It's filled with audacious style and technique, the Coen Brothers arriving as fully formed filmmakers, they take film noir conventions and turn them on their head, usually the audiences is about as clued up as the protagonists as a mystery unravels but here we are put in the position of always knowing more than the doomed characters and get to watch their mistakes and misunderstandings of situations and other characters agendas play into forgone, deadly conclusions that could be avoided with simple communication. A fascinating conceit for a movie like this, essentially everyone thinks they know something but in fact know nothing and end up fucking up massively, and fatally.The whole film is a comedy of errors of sorts, but without most of the comedy (although the Coens trademark dark humour is at play here in a more subdued way, there are still moments of gallows humour and gloriously odd incidental characters) This movie also has a very small cast, adding to the desolate feel, with Francis McDormand in her movie debut giving a great performance as Abby, centre of all the film problems, and of course M. Emmet Walsh steals the show as bizzarely named Loren Visser (never actually named in the movie or even the credits, the closest you get is his first name on his incriminating "man of the year" lighter) a horrible, skin crawling, sweaty bag of sleaze in a canary yellow suit and straw cowboy hat, he is a repugnant, disgusting joy ("Let me know when you wanna cut off my head, i can always crawl around without it") and the first of the Coens' trademark "Screaming Fat Men". the film also contains some amazing set pieces, including what has to be one of the most striking, unbearably suspenseful sequences ever filmed, as a man try's to depose of a body that wont stay dead in one 15 minute long, dialogue free scene that subverts the whole notion of body disposal in movies and will leave you without fingernails, and the climax is a dark, violent heart stopper, it's moments like this where the Coens other influences shine through aside from noir movies or Dashiell Hammet or James M Cain, and the film ends up becoming more of an out and out gothic, creepy horror movie. A masterpiece and the Coens best movie.