Despite hearing very good things about Don't Breathe, and loving Fede Alvarez' take on Evil Dead, (on par with Fright Night as my favorite remakes/ reboots,) I put this film aside as being something to check out. My thinking being that, unless you're an absolute hack, you just can't screw up remaking Evil Dead, with the amazing source material, and Don't Breathe appeared to be a relative "paint by numbers" horror trope. There'd be one of a few twists coming that, pardon the pun, we'd see coming, especially if you're a veteran of horror with decades of experience exploring the genre.
I couldn't have been more wrong.
I regret not seeing this masterpiece oh so much sooner.
There's no way to expand upon what you may know from the previews without ruining the twist, but in the off-chance you're unfamiliar with Don't Breathe's premise, here's the rundown.
Three youths that are thieves, (two for making money, one to rebel against his father,) catch wind from their fence that an older blind man, (played masterfully by Stephen Lang, proving once again Deadpool made an error not casting him as Cable,) has a fortune in cash at his home. The reason for the fortune? His only child was killed in an auto incident. This creates a moral dilemma for part of our group, as well as humanizes the story, grounding it in tragedy for our viewers through perfect storytelling.
As in the previews, what seems like what should be an easy heist has the tables turned on the thieves due to a combination of Lang cutting the power, a realistic portrayal of his hearing being more attuned after years of no sight, and being much more familiar with his surroundings.
You'd be right in thinking this sounds like a typical horror film that's been played out numerous times. But, the storytelling is done so well, the acting very good, and the twist/ gimmick SO excellent, that it's miles ahead of anything else this may sound similar to. There's no way to hint at it without lessening its impact when it plays out. Place a pillow in your lap for when your jaw drops.
That reveal is boatloads of discomfort, and I'm not one easily triggered; precisely WHY I ran out and bought Don't Breathe directly after seeing it on cable. While not on the same scale as Martyrs, Don't Breathe had me thinking about its twist heavily the rest of the night and days afterwards.
If, like me, you chose to skip Don't Breathe because it seemed too familiar, you need to rectify that, and you'd be best served, at its low price, to just add it to your collection from the outset.
Evil Dead made me believe Fede Alvarez had potential, but with a foundation already laid down by Sam Raimi, he was just a name to keep an eye on when future movies hit cable or streaming.
Don't Breathe has assured me that Fede Alvarez isn't *A* name to watch, he's *THE* name to watch, and you'll see me at the head of the line at the theater for upcoming films, especially if he continues to create original masterpieces like Don't Breathe.