The Coens' first feature is undoubtedly style-over-substance, as their
meticulously plotted murder mystery unfolds in a detached, almost
inhuman Texas atmosphere involving characters who never ask the right
questions and instead concern themselves with artificial dialogue.
However, the subtler interpersonal aspects is not the point in Blood
Simple - a film in which the visuals and nifty technical aspects are
the main contributors to the atmospheric, sometimes disquieting effect.
The Coens show tons of flair and imagination through numerous cuts and
compositions in subdued lighting full of long shadows and dreamy
footage, making their film appealing and enticing. Unfortunately, there
isn't much dramatic value in the love triangle (especially not the
Getz/McDormand-relationship) to give it all the depth and potency it
could have had, but that doesn't make the final fifteen minutes of the
film less exhilarating. A young and beautiful Frances McDormand is the
film's best asset in front of the camera, whereas M. Emmett Walsh'
performance verifies Roger Ebert's Walsh/Stanton rule.