Film Review: Don’t Breathe

Don't Breathe1

Don’t Breathe is a breath of fresh air in the stale home invasion theme in horror. The story is bare bones simple and that is one of the things that makes it most compelling. Director Fede Alvarez (Evil Dead, 2013) has crafted a terrifically tense film, co-written with Rodo Sayagues (also Evil Dead, 2013 with Alvarez). The direction is smooth and seemingly flawless, and every frame looks gorgeous, even with the crumbling decay of the setting.

Reviews like this one are difficult to present, mainly because the film depends so heavily on not knowing much when you walk through the door, so I’ll only give a quick rundown of the basic plot. Three thieves in Detroit try to rob a blind military veteran who may or may not have a large stash of cash. And they soon discover that taking on a blind guy isn’t as easy as it sounds. Do yourself a favor and try not to read any spoilers before seeing this film.

The rasping, rage filled blind man, is played to menacing perfection by the awe-inspiring Stephen Lang (the bad guy in Avatar). The other main characters, the tough-as-nails Rocky (Jane Levy, Evil Dead, 2013, and Suburgatory, 2011), the cautious Alex (Dylan Minnette, Goosebumps, 2015), and the gleefully reckless sleazeball Money (Daniel Zovatto, It Follows, 2014, and Fear the Walking Dead, 2015) are all great, amoral characters that are certainly not model citizens, but, before you know it, you still find yourself rooting for them.

I would have thought that the entirety of a film set within one small house would have been boring after a while, but that thought evaporated about halfway through the story. Don’t Breathe is a scary, brutally violent 88 minute thrill ride that will keep you on the edge of your seat. Fresh and imaginative, I give this a nine out of ten gravestones. See this one, Deadies!


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