Competent but middling suspenser “Blame” achieves just moderate tension with a single-location predicament in which would-be revenge killers find their plan unraveling under pressure. Writer-director Michael Henry’s first feature has an intriguing premise but doesn’t provide enough pulse-pounding or psychological aspects to do much more than simply hold interest. Pic is likeliest to be remembered if its helmer or any among its cast of rising young Aussie thesps proceed to the big leagues. Offshore theatrical sales will be spotty.
Fortyish music teacher Bernard (Damian de Montemas) arrives at his rural home outside Perth only to be set upon by five hooded attackers who force-feed him an excess of sleeping pills, then stage his “suicide.” They’re friends of a girl who had an affair with the teacher three years earlier, and who has killed herself. But once the fleeing quintet realize they’ve left something behind, they return to discover the dose wasn’t fatal. What’s more, Bernard credibly pleads innocence over the girl’s death — and fingers someone in the group for withholding their own guilty secrets. Perfs and packaging are solid, but “Blame” lacks a knockout punch in both style and storytelling.