Movie Review: Don’t Breathe (2016)

Starring: Stephen Lang, Jane Levy and Dylan Minnette

Directed by: Fede Alvarez

A group of thieves think they’re about to stumble on their biggest score to date. A blind man who lives in a deserted town who has a substantial amount of money from an out of court settlement when his daughter was killed. Little did the thieves know that the blind man possesses some extraordinary capabilities and a shocking secret as they must find a way to escape his home before getting caught.

After watching A Quiet Place earlier on this year it reminded me that this movie existed. While the movies aren’t similar in any kind of way in regards to the story they are very similar in terms of the suspense and silent nature of the movie. Don’t Breathe was a movie that did intrigue me when I originally saw the trailer a few years ago but I didn’t manage to catch it while it was in the cinema and just forgot all about it. Over the weekend I was pleased to have found it on Netflix and was glad to have the opportunity to finally check it out.

I found the story to be a little basic at first and just a tad unbelievable which was a bit of shame. The Blind Man who lost his sight while in the army fighting in Iraq then lost his daughter after she was ran over by a girl from a rich family. He was paid off and the driver was spared prison and the group of thieves found out about his fortune and assumed he’d have it locked away in his house and not in a bank. There was no explanation of how they came about knowing this little bit of information, they somehow just knew. At first I really didn’t like Jane Levy, who played one of the thieves called Rocky. Her acting was quite poor and her characters back story seemed half assed and poorly executed. She was meant to have been this broken down person who has had it rough which is why she is looking to escape with the money she’s about to steal but I found myself having no empathy at all towards her situation.

Once the three thieves entered the house was when the movie started to get good as the suspense hit almost immediately and was a constant throughout. From then on the script didn’t need to be anything special as the movie solely relied on the drama and tension from within the house and whether the thieves would be able to make it out alive. Apart from a couple of cheap jump scares I thought Don’t Breathe utilised the suspense very well and the environment in which the movie was shot was beneficial to the creepiness and terror that the thieves were being subjected to.

Stephen Lang who played the blind man was exceptional in his performance as he portrays a man with no fear who is in constant control of his surroundings as he attempts to capture the thieves and punish them for their crimes against him. The secret that is hidden away in his basement was something that I wasn’t expecting as it really caught me off guard but it added another dimension to the movie and the blind man’s character. It was an interesting character swerve where you find yourself rooting for the blind man to take the thieves down but end up hoping for the thieves to escape their potential demise.

Overall, Don’t Breathe is dark, tense and frightening but not on a scary level but more so on a reality type of level where anybody is at risk of having their home broken into while they’re asleep. The use of silence is used very well and it’s a movie definitely worth checking out if you enjoy suspenseful thrillers.

7/10

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