I’m always most excited when I’m on my way to see a scifi or a horror flick. Although not exactly horror, I was really eager to watch Don’t Breathe – from Fede Alvarez, the director of the fairly impressive Evil Dead remake.
Don’t Breathe deals with three youngsters who set out to make a quick buck by robbing a wealthy blind war veteran. Or at least try to. What happens next may or may not blow your mind but will definitely keep you on the edge of your seat, if not leave you breathless.
Don’t Breathe is quite chilling. Running at a tight 88 minutes, it sets up the story fairly quickly before moving into the high tension and jump scares zone, providing a welcome entry into the home invasion genre. It also gets into the moral conflict of who’s right and who’s wrong and you’ll be interested to find out who exactly you’re gonna end up rooting for as the movie progresses.
And as it does progress, a few plot points creep in that require some suspension of disbelief and may not sit well with everyone. The slow burn tension that had served it well so far begins to get replaced by the shock factor.
The kids are pretty effective in the acting department, especially Jane Levy who was also in Evil Dead, but it’s Stephen Lang who you’ll recognize as the military Colonel from Avatar who steals the show with his (mostly) quiet and physical menace. Another star of this show is cinematographer Pedro Luque who captures the interior of the house so intimately, giving everything a claustrophobic feel. He makes great use of lighting, especially considering the mostly cramped, confined indoor space it deals with. Rooms, corridors, basements, yards, everything becomes a potential war zone. And there are a couple of really cleverly done long takes and a very cool night vision sequence that reminded me of Zero Dark Thirty.
Overall, Don’t Breathe is relentless, visceral and a very engaging thriller. Take a deep breath before you go in.
Genre: Thriller, horror
Directed by: Fede Alvarez
Starring: Stephen Lang, Jane Levy, Dylan Minnette
Running time: 88 minutes