Film · Film Review

Film Review: Don’t Breathe (2016)

Don’t Breathe is a horror thriller about three thieves who break into the house of a blind man in hopes of securing a small fortune, but there is much more to the blind man than meets the eye. Read my review…

Don't Breathe

Rocky (Jane Levy), a young woman wanting to start a better life for her and her sister, agrees to take part in the robbery of a house owned by a wealthy blind man (Stephen Lang) with her boyfriend Money and their friend Alex (Dylan Minnette). But when the blind man turns out to be a more ruthless adversary than he seems, the group must find a way to escape his home before they become his newest victims. (IMDb) Check out the trailer below before you carry on.

Let me get right down to it. The performances of the actors in Don’t Breathe are brilliant, especially Stephen Lang. Yes, he’s old and blind and frail and beaten down by life…but he is Stephen Lang god dammit! You do not mess with this dude. He barely has any lines in the movie and despite that, he manages to make this character extremely menacing. I have also watched Jane Levy in Suburgatory and Evil Dead (2013), amongst other things, and I think she is a very versatile actress and she shows that once again. Dylan Minnette, most recently shining in 13 Reasons Why, also shows what a good actor he is with his subtlety.

Fede Alvarez, the director, knows how to create tension and he shows that in spades. The pacing of this movie is spot on as we go through the story and more twists are revealed. The score and sound design were also spectacular, adding a lot to the tension necessary for a movie like Don’t Breathe. There are a couple of time during the movie when I thought it can’t get any worse, Fede Alvarez manages to take up another notch. I am really looking forward to his future work.

Where this movie falters for me is the final twist in the movie, which I thought was unnecessary and felt jarring to me. Up until that point, I was having a great time with the simple premise of the home invasion victim turning the tables on the thieves and making them fear for their lives. But this twist shocked me, so much so that it took me out of viewing experience a little bit. As a result of this twist, I also felt the movie had a couple of false endings which didn’t quite sit well with me.

Overall, this is a great entry into the horror thriller (more thriller than horror) genre. Fede Alvarez is really good at creating a tense atmosphere and made a simple premise into a very compelling single-setting movie. As the movie progresses, we as the audience are exposed to new layers and dimensions to the story. He also got some great performances from the main characters, Stephen Lang in particular.


My Score: 4/5 – A high recommendation from me. If you enjoy tense thrillers, this one is not to be missed.

Don’t Breathe is now available on all VOD platforms.

If you’ve already seen it, let me know what you thought by leaving a comment below. Please share this with your friends and don’t forget to follow the blog on Facebook and Twitter.

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