Don’t Breathe (2016) Review

Published by: Anthony Wallace


dont-breathe-posterIt’s the perfect hit and nobody around to raise the alarms for Rocky, Alex, and her boyfriend as they look to rob the home of a veteran soldier who just so happens to be blind. The problem though is he’s not only crafty but downright dangerous and may have just given the intruders a run for their money. From the director of the Evil Dead (2013) remake, Fede Alvarez, comes a new twist in this new horror gem that’s sure to keep you on the edge of your seat. The movie stars Stephen Lang, Jane Levy, Dylan Minnette, and Daniel Zovatto.

With good praise coming out early for ‘Don’t Breathe‘ it got me wondering what we could expect as the trailer caught my attention. After viewing the film I will say this was a lot of fun with chills coming from every corner. Starting with the concept of intruders breaking into a blind mans home to only discover he’s crazier then he seems really worked and even pushed the envelope to places that were shocking. The performances were even good, considering it was kept to three characters which gives us enough time to flesh out the characters before things go really bad. Standouts come from Jane Levy and Dylan Minnette who worked very well together and showed great chemistry when they put up a fight against the blind man. Even the blind man who is played by Stephen Lang surely brought terror to viewers eyes when it’s revealed in the movie of his motivations behind his madness.

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One of the things that was appreciated was how the creators turned the playbook upside down by having our antagonist be the one who suffers from an ailment versus the protagonist. In this case, the veteran who lost his eye sight in battle uses methods to go after the intruders and must rely on sound and even smell when appropriate. As the title implies, ‘Don’t Breathe‘ has a purpose and the filmmaking truly sets up a tense and nail biting experience. Take for instance the moment when Alex realizes something’s gone terribly wrong and tiptoes through the hallways before the blindman appears in front of him as they cross paths. It’s seen in the trailer but it has more of an effect when you’re actually watching the movie that it does justice.

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As much as the premise was what got me into the theater is why there are also flaws that at times can be glaring. Take for instance the moment where the blindman’s motive is revealed and how he went about dealing with it. Some of it is far fetched and when someone is not able to see and yet they have the ability to get revenge is when the film loses credibility. The biggest strength the movie has is by keeping the movie inside the home. Because once the movie heads outside is when the villain becomes weak. It’s scarier to imagine being locked inside of a crazed blindman’s home who has a few tricks up his sleeve. There is a little bit of nostalgia as a dog is seen in the movie which plays homage to Wes Craven’sThe People Under the Stairs‘ and at times becomes resourceful for the blind man.

For ‘Don’t Breathe‘ this was a unique experience and is definitely terrifying for the audience. Even with flaws in logic at times, it does what it sets out to do by getting under your skin. One scene in particular was shot hauntingly well that it would give anyone the chills and a turn of the stomach. For Director Fede Alvarez, this movie is a step up from his last effort and shows growth in his career. It shows that it’s not always about the blood and gore but with a clever concept it can go a long ways in leaving an everlasting impression.

Rating: 7/10

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What do you guys think of ‘Don’t Breathe‘? Are you planning to watch it? Comment below and share your thoughts.

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