Three friends (Dylan Minnette, Jane Levy, and Daniel Zovatto) plot to end their money woes by burglarizing the home of a blind recluse (Stephen Lang), but the heist quickly goes awry when they discover that their target is concealing a horrifying secret -- and that he isn't as harmless as they had thought. Directed by Fede Alvarez (the 2013 Evil Dead remake).~Jack Rodgers
8 deleted scenes with director's commentary
Commentary with director Fede Alvarez, co-writer Rodo Sayagues and actor Stephen Lang
Had a really good time watching this movie with my wife
I would recommend this to a friend
Rated 5 out of 5 stars
Alvarez At His Best
Owned for more than 2 years when reviewed.
Alvarez's first film in three years since his violent and solid remake of Evil Dead, and it is with this sophomoric debut that solidifies the genre filmmaker as someone with obvious talent. Inspirations are drawn from the best - Hitchcock, Fincher, and Wait Until Dark are a few - but Alvarez provides his own unique vision that truly makes the film his own. Like the masters before him, Don't Breathe is purely cinematic, relying less on dialogue and more on visual storytelling and sound to drive the film. The cinematography is amazing as well as the creative sound design, so much so they are characters within the film themselves.
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.
Don't Breathe, the new horror/thriller from director Fede Alvarez (the Evil Dead re-make), opens with a distant shot of what looks to be a deserted street. Only later do we find out this is one of the more run down sections of Detroit where time and humanity have left everything behind that might have once thrived there. As the camera gets closer to the street we can see there is someone walking down the middle of it. The camera continues to zoom in slowly-we can tell that someone is dragging something down the road behind them. A little closer. They are dragging another person. A little closer. It's a girl who is either dead or unconscious-it's difficult to tell and we will remain unsure as the screen then cuts to black. It's a killer opening shot that clearly points to a moment that is to come later in the film, but with its placement at the beginning Alvarez has already enticed his audience to how we might get to this point and whether that shot indicates the end of the line or not. It's a trick that has been used before and will certainly be used again, but every now and then it feels especially inherent to the story being told and Don't Breathe feels like an instance where this isn't only a tool to lure the unsuspecting (or suspecting if you bought a ticket, I mean c'mon) audience member into the intrigue of what exactly is going on, but instead this is a choice that lets those audience members (suspecting or not) know up front that Alvarez means to make you question things, to make you pull your knees up to your chin and grit your teeth because you feel so tense. This isn't simply a hook, but an indication of the type of terror the characters we'll come to know are capable of and this is all accomplished in the first thirty or so seconds so one can only imagine what sitting through ninety minutes of such adept perception of what makes people uncomfortable and afraid might be like. In only his second feature film the Uruguay-born director delivers a horror film that, much like his previous movie, contains itself to an isolated location, but only continues to raise the stakes and use that space in inventive and chilling ways. Save for something of a lackluster middle section where, for a moment, the film feels as if it runs out of both steam and ideas for where exactly to take the story and its characters, the film is a tightly scripted and well-performed fright night that finds its footing well enough to redeem itself and pull the cautious viewers back to the side of rooting for whoever gains the most of their sympathy.