Don’t Breathe

Don't Breathe

This house looked like an easy target, until they found out what was inside.

Overview

A group of teens break into a blind man's home thinking they'll get away with the perfect crime. They're wrong.

Metadata
Title Don't Breathe
Director Fede Alvarez
Director of Photography Pedro Luque
Producer
Runtime 1 h 28 min
Certification R
Release Date 25 August 2016
Tagline This house looked like an easy target, until they found out what was inside.
IMDb Id tt4160708
Trailer

Review by Bart Hartgring:

Three teenage kids break into a house in a desolate part of Detroit, where they believe they will find a safe full of money. Rocky (Jane Levy) hopes this money will give her a way out of her desperate home situation; her boyfriend Money (Daniel Zovatto) is in it, well, for the money; and Alex (Dylan Minette) is nurturing a not-so-secret crush on Rocky. This should be an easy target too: Dylan steals the house keys from his father’s security business, and the home owner is a blind man.

Well it wouldn’t make for much of a horror movie if it were an easy target of course. As soon as they get to the house things start to go wrong. They manage to get in the house, but it isn’t long before the Blind Man (we don’t learn his name throughout the movie; played by Stephen Lang) wakes up. And guess what: he is anything but a helpless blind man. He is a war veteran with his other senses heightened in absence of his sight, and highly motivated to protect his home and everything hidden in it. A dangerous and thrilling cat and mouse game follows…

The atmosphere is tense – thanks to great directing that takes a more traditional approach to telling the story. The dark is just that: dark, not heightened by green infrared camerawork; the silence is just that: no sound other than creaky floorboards. There is also an eerie soundtrack – expertly made by Ferris, who creates his own instruments out of regular household items. The visuals are often impressive, especially for an independent horror movie.

The movie is much better than I expected for its first two-thirds. Then there is a plot twist that makes you go: why, why, why…? There are no morals to be found anywhere in the movie but that is not the issue with this twist, which for me took away all the credibility the film had built up until then in a single moment. It turned the thrilling indie into a B-film copycat caricature. Bah humbug.

I’ll be generous and still give it three stars for the impressive sensory experience for the first 70% of the film. If only the twist would have been something more inventive….

★★★☆☆

 


Review by Andy Hayler:

In a bleak Michigan suburb three teenagers plot to rob an isolated house in which an ex-army veteran lives an introverted life and in which they are convinced he has stashed a large sum of money that he won in a legal settlemet reported in the local newspaper. This being a movie, things are not quite as one-sided as they initially seem. Despite the man being blind, he is resourceful and has a canine companion, so the robbery does not go according to plan.

Although this is a fairly basic thriller, director Fede Alvarez manages to keep the action going in a lively way, and there is a surprising (albeit implausible) plot twist to keep things interesting towards the end of the film.  The acting is serviceable, and the ending may not be to everyone’s taste, but this is a fairly well made popcorn thriller with a few scary moments.

(6/10)

Don’t Breathe
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