Don’t Breathe Review

“Don’t Breathe” stars Jane Levy, Dylan Minnette, Daniel Zovatto and Stephen Lang as the Blind Man.  Directed by “Evil Dead” helmer Fede Alvarez, and produced by Sam Raimi and Robert Tapert, “Don’t Breathe” tells the story of three friends who think they will make it rich for one last score.  Their target is a retired old blind veteran who has stashed away inside his house a cache of 300,000 dollars.  As the trio break in and try to take the money, they get more than they bargained for as they weave their way through the maze-like house.  And inside this house of the blind, the one eyed man is king.

“Don’t Breathe” is an exceptional horror film.  When I saw the trailers for it, the film looked original and interesting but I had no real thoughts about if I wanted to see it or not.  I figured it would just be another dumb horror film, but I was pleasantly surprised here.  The phenomenal direction by Fede Alvarez shows that he is a truly gifted horror director and the way the camera moved and snaked through this house really reminded me of Sam Raimi’s original “Evil Dead” trilogy.  I loved Fede’s updated version of “Evil Dead” and with “Don’t Breathe” we get again something really fun and special.

The plot isn’t really complicated and it’s quite a simple movie really.  But it’s the complexities inside the film that really make this an enjoyable late night flick.  Jane Levy, who was the hero and star of “Evil Dead,” was once again front and center playing Rocky, the only female of the group.  She was a great character to root for.  And Dylan Minnette was good playing Alex.  Minnette has some acting chops and everything that I see him in, I like.  But the real star of this movie is Stephen Lang (Avatar) who played the villain of the Blind Man.  He was truly a frightening character.  But what made him an interesting character is the fact that in the beginning we sort of feel pity for him, and then by the end he is so scary, unpredictable and despicable in his desire for revenge.  Lang was the best thing about “Don’t Breathe.”

Two things that really stood out in “Don’t Breathe” were the cinematography as well as the jump scare timing.  The cinematography by Pedro Luque was incredible.  The movie has a very Hitchcockian feel to it and part of that claustrophobic feel is due to the wonderful cinematography.  And part of that cinematography is the timing, where the blind man appeared and when he shot his gun, to when he would pop up in random places.  The camera work and the timing alone helped make this an exceptional piece of horror.  Timing is everything in comedy, as it is in horror and the two worked hand in hand together, making “Don’t Breathe” a wild scare ride.

As far as complaints go I really don’t have any.  This was a tight script, a well acted movie with great scares, some gore and amazing movement in cinematography.  All of these pieces moved incredibly well together and I enjoyed every second of this movie; it was so much fun!  If I’m going to nitpick, I guess I will say that the character named Money was such an annoying presence in the movie, and if you watch it there’s a reason for it.  But other than that character, this film had me on the edge of my seat the entire time.

Guys in the end, “Don’t Breathe” is a well crafted, scary little horror film, full of entertainment, fun and claustrophobic moments.  The acting and the cinematography alone sell this movie big, while the twists and turns weave in an out like the perfect murder mystery thriller.  This is a very adult film, so kids for sure should stay away from this one.  The violence is pretty gratuitous in certain scenes and there is a fair amount carnage so keep that in mind if you hate your horror movies bloody.  This year has been a hot year for horror films.  With “The Witch,” “The Conjuring 2” “Lights Out,” and now “Don’t Breathe, we have truly been spoiled.  “Don’t Breathe” is just another great horror film that showcases the talent of the actors and the filmmakers involved.  Horror films don’t have to be cheesy and cliched.  They can easily be like this one and contain real and visceral scares that engage the audience and gain their attention.

Grade:  B

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