Stephen Lang made me feel like I was doing wrong by just watching this shit occur.
Don’t Breathe tells the story of a group of young hooligans who like robbing people’s homes. Dylan Minnette, star of the completely-snubbed-for-the-Academy-Award Goosebumps (2015), portrays the character who doesn’t really have a good feeling about this. Jane Levy portrays the I have to do this because I gotta get out of my completely fucked up life character. Daniel Zovatto portrays the I gotta do this because cash rules everything around me CREAM. An aspect to Don’t Breathe I truly appreciated was although the main characters are somewhat caricatures we’re used to seeing, they are written and executed in a way that makes you have a genuine care for them. I thought I would become bored of them as the movie progressed since the beginning of the film sets them up so exact as to what kind of character they are, however understanding certain characters’ motives made it for an enjoyable watch since you do want to see them succeed at defeating the antagonist… Which happens to be the blind veteran man they wanted to rob… I love feeling conflicted when watching movies because it makes me think of the ethical repercussions of feeling that way.
Me: How dare they think of bothering that poor helpless man?! They deserve what is coming to them… Ohhhhh wait… I kind of want to see them steal all his money and hurt him but I also don’t…
Now I love me some contained thrillers (see: 10 Cloverfield Lane) and one of my favourite movies this year that I have been raving about to anyone who will listen was Hush, a horror movie about a man tormenting a woman who is deaf. I also love the Audrey Hepburn classic Wait Until Dark (1967) wherein a group of thugs torment a blind woman for a heroin-stuffed doll. Essentially, I like movies where a character is suffering from an ailment that impairs one of their main senses and it takes place in enclosed spaces and short periods of time…
I am happy to say Don’t Breathe has officially fallen into my favourite above mentioned category. This is one tense thrill-ride that starts around twenty or so minutes in and persists until the beginning of the final credits. I watched this in a packed theatre and it was one of the most fun theatre experiences I have ever had, if you are able to watch this in a movie theatre with a bunch of first-time watchers I would highly recommend it. You and your audience will feel an immediate connection because of the way it is filmed, there are occasional bouts of incredibly uncomfortable close-ups and sequences where you are quite literally bracing yourself for what is coming next. There are jump scares however they are executed not shittily!! Hooray for non-shitty jump scares! Let me tell you, there were one or two sequences where the entire audience was absolutely silent for, the sounds of popcorn chewing and Slushie slurping completely ceased because we were all invested as to what is going to happen next.
The core group portrayed their roles just fine with the particular standouts being Levy, who I found played Rocky incredibly well and holy dickens, guys watch this movie alone for Stephen Lang‘s performance as the Blind Man. In terms of fantastic horror characters of the modern world, Lang absolutely nails it as a disturbingly strong older man whose hair is full of secrets! Minnette really had two emotions throughout the movie which consisted of stoneface & wide-eyes McGee and MILD SPOILER Zovatto’s character ejacultaes on the floor of a house they rob in the beginning of the movie so that says it all about his character and what he had to work with. END SPOILER.
There were a number of incredibly suspenseful moments where I genuinely had no idea what was going to happen next, which is nice to experience in specifically a horror film since the main point of horror is to cause you discomfort & fear and it is kind of difficult to accomplish that if you can call what is going to happen at every turn. I will say, there were a couple obvious guns of Chekhov’s sprinkled throughout and shots that lingered just a wee bit longer than they should have. I did appreciate that they never really deviated from the situation occurring at the house and that various scares actually added on to the progression and execution of the plot rather than simply being there for those BOOMWHUPPAH! moments… And with a runtime of just an hour and a half, the filmmakers managed to create a lovely suspenseful tale that makes me happy I do not rob homes for a living.
If you’re looking for a horror movie that will make you feel genuinely frightened and also make you say the occasional “what… the… fuck“ check out Don’t Breathe.
Don’t Breathe receives 4/5 Matt Damon heads.