Don’t Breathe (2016)

Posted: October 1, 2016 in Movie Review
Tags: , , ,

dont-breathe-foreign-poster

Directed By: Fede Alvarez

Starring: Jane Levy, Dylan Minnette, Daniel Zovatto, Stephen Lang

Synopsis: Three young thugs break into the house of a blind man who is supposedly sitting on a mountain of cash, looking for an easy score.

Thoughts: Home invasion stories have been done to death over the last ten years, so I was a bit skeptical going into see Don’t Breathe, even though it is directed by up and comer Fede Alvarez (Evil Dead).  Luckily, I was lucky enough to get tickets to an advanced showing at The Alamo Drafthouse, my favorite place to catch a flick on the big screen.  In addition to the movie, there was a Q&A with Alvarez streamed from Austin that was hosted by Robert Rodriquez.

Right from the start, you see that Rocky, Alex and Money are not really great people.  Alex uses his father’s job as a security guard to target homes where they can break in easily. He pines over Rocky, but she is in love with “Money”, the prototypical thug.  It’s a basic love triangle, and not a lot is really done with it, but it adds another layer of tension in the movie.  It’s very easy to see the trio as the bad guys throughout the first act of the movie.  As things progress, you’re not sure who the villain really is.

Jane Levy returns to work with Alvarez, having starred in his Evil Dead remake.  Levy must surely be a glutton for punishment after seeing what she goes through in each movie.  The real star of the movie is Stephen Lang, veteran of both film and theater.  His turn as “The Blind Man” is what elevates this movie above your run of the mill home invasion fare.

Don’t Breathe clocks in at a very brisk 88 minutes, and that is a key to the success of the movie.  The tension builds very quickly and it doesn’t let  up throughout the entire movie.  There is one scene that takes place in the basement in the pitch black.  While I am not sure how it was shot, it looks like it is black and white, and the actors eyes are fully dilated.  It is probably the most tense scene in the entire film.  All puns aside, I found myself holding my breath at times!  I’m really hoping that the scene is dissected in the home video release.

I recommend checking out Don’t Breathe.  It’s done well in theatres, which is always a good thing for my favorite genre,  but don’t let that dissuade you from supporting it.  The better horror movies do, both independent and studio funded, the more we see.

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