Director: Fede Alvarez
Distributor: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
Duration: 88 minutes
Don’t Breathe (Blu-ray) – Movie Review
Nowadays it has become a trend to make horror movies as gruesome as possible, with loads of blood and carnage, all visually represented to the last grueling detail. And truth be told, even though we loved the concept and the initial trailer of Don’t Breathe, we imagined it would be the same thing over again, just with a blind nut job in the lead. With rather low expectations we dived into this pitch black horror movie, and it ended up becoming rather eye-opening for an already oversaturated genre.
The story brings us to three small time thieves, Alex (Dylan Minette), Money (Daniel Zovatto) and Rocky (Jane Levy), who have been breaking into a lot of houses, in order to rake in the cash. While this is still a risky business, the trio avoids detection, as Alex robs houses that are under the protection of a specific security company, namely the one his dad works for and has a lot of keys for. Nonetheless, Alex, the ‘schmuck’ of the group, is clearly walking on the dark side, because he clearly likes/loves Rocky, who is a single mother and hopes to find enough money to move away from her addicted mother and random boyfriend(s). Money seems to be the significant other of Rocky, albeit with a typical douchebag and gangster-wannabe attitude, thus, you’ll know who’ll be the first punching bag in the plot. All of that being said, Money discovers an easy target, namely the house of a blind man, in an abandoned neighborhood, who apparently received a hefty sum of cash when his daughter got run over by the daughter of a very wealthy family. While Alex is hesitant at first, he decided to join the parade, simply because of Rocky.
God knows why the group decides to pick the house clean, when ‘the blind man’ (Stephen Lang), whose identity stays a mystery for the entire movie, is still at home. All three of them consider this target to be an easy one and they stick with this initial idea. When Money roams around the house, to drop a small canister of sleeping gas in the man’s room, he is greeted by someone who was clearly very alert. Nonetheless, it seems that Money was successful in subduing the man, and he feels confident enough to pull out a gun to shoot open a lock inside the house. Before long he is greeted by the blind man, who clearly knows every inch of his house by heart, and is even able to subdue Money, before blowing the latter’s brains out. From here on out, Rocky, who is inside at this time, and Alex, who was about to leave the group, will have to be extremely quiet, as this blind man is clearly not an ordinary ‘handicapped’ person, and it’s fair to say, he won’t stop until he has killed all the perpetrators. Before long, both burglars are trapped and in the dark, struggling to survive.
Overall the pace is fairly slow in Don’t Breathe, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Nonetheless, we, and we reckon many others, expected a lot more action, violence, and a hefty dose of gore, while in reality this movie circles closer to the thriller genre, rather than an actual horror movie. It’s clear a psychopath stands in the spotlight in this movie, but not an overly gruesome one, safe for a few actions of his we’d rather not spoil. In the end, this movie proves to be very accessible for even rather squeamish viewers.
You’ll be seeing Dylan Minette and Jane Levy for the biggest part of the movie, but in this scary flick, it’s Stephan Lang who truly puts down a stellar performance playing the mysterious blind man. Not only is he able to play his disability in a very convincing way, his overall presence is one that truly sets the tone of this movie. We can only congratulate him on a job well done.
While the extras on the Blu-ray edition are very slim, it is somewhat entertaining to see how certain aspects were brought to life. You’ll be treated to a handful of very short featurettes, outside of the typical deleted scenes and commentaries, which in the end are simply a ‘making of’ cut into small snippets. You’ll only have about twenty minutes worth of extra content if you skip the deleted items and audio commentaries, which is pretty much better than nothing.
Don’t Breathe will not nab away any Oscars, even though Stephen Lang is simply formidable in this movie. Nonetheless, we were presented with an overall great atmospheric movie, which remained on the ‘safe’ side of the genre, thus creating an attractive format for fans of thrillers, rather than horror flicks. Don’t Breathe is certainly worth the watch, thanks to its rather refreshing ‘evil’ protagonist, but sometimes feels as if the creators weren’t completely sure which direction they wished to head with the movie.