Review: Don’t Breathe (2016)

dont-breathe-movie-poster

“There is nothing a man cannot do once he accepts the fact that there is no god.”
– The Blind Man

SYNOPSIS: Hoping to walk away with a massive fortune, a trio of thieves break into the house of a blind man who isn’t as helpless as he seems. – via IMDB

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GRADE 8So there was quite a bit of hype surrounding this one. I missed a lot of the hype in my country,  but caught a lot of it online. I decided to give it a look see the other day, and I was pleasantly surprised. As a rule, I am not usually a very big fan of home invasion films. Recently I saw Hush, which was supposed to be excellent because it brought a new spin to the home invasion genre. I liked it okay, but found it quite bland. Don’t Breathe is a different kind of animal.

It has a rather small, limited cast, but this does not detract from the film. Daniel Zovatto might have been the weakest addition to it, but between Jane Levy, Dylan Minnette, and Stephen Lang, you are hooked every minute of it. The movie is shot really well, which is something I am starting to expect from Fede Alvarez. It wasn’t overly dark (the images, goodness knows the story got pretty messed up), which is a major flaw in these types of movies, and even when it was totally in the dark, you could see what was going on the whole time. I also thought that the movie maintained really good tension throughout, which is not an easy thing to pull off.

The story is nothing over the top, and the pacing is excellent. You get what you need, when you need it. Don’t Breathe doesn’t rush to blow its payload, but isn’t so slow as to frustrate you. A simple story, sure, but engaging from the off. And I swear, whatever you are thinking when watching this about the door? It doesn’t come close to the twist the movie actually delivers, which is refreshing. And beyond super ick. While the characters are not all likable, they do grow on you, and it doesn’t even take that long. This is definitely a home invasion with a different pattern going for it, and it works. I was really hooked from the off, and the run time is perfect – it never overstays its welcome.

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However, even with all this praise, there were some niggles with it too, and a lot of that has to do with the decisions the characters make and some of the logic that is applied by the characters. Also, the characters are really underdeveloped, and while that is typical for this type of genre, it becomes a bit of an issue when you are supposed to root for the old man, and then the thieves, and back and forth. It’s cool because, for once, there is not one clear, innocent party to root for, but also sucks because knowing more about the characters could have been helpful. Let’s not forget the faulty alarm, multiple gunshots being fired in a neighbourhood and zero interest from the neighbours, or cops.

Don’t Breathe is a well directed little home invasion thriller that is carried by solid performances, an engaging story, and the sheer simplicity of this. I would highly recommend this one, and I can see now why it has so many fans.

I would say skip the trailer and just go in blind (har har), much better experience.

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7 thoughts on “Review: Don’t Breathe (2016)

  1. garethrhodes says:

    You’re right about the trailer – basically a summary of what happens in the film. I get more grrr about trailers everyday. You make good points about the underdeveloped characters…and how that works and how it doesn’t. It’s a bit of a catch 22. Solid thriller, though. Maybe we’ll learn more about the characters in the inevitable sequel.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Zoë says:

      I agree – trailers peeve me more often than not nowadays because it’s essentially the whole movie crammed into it. Oh goodness… are they going to make a sequel?! There is no need!

      Liked by 1 person

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