Don’t Breath (2016)

An ill conceived attempt to get out of the rough of Michigan lands three teens, Rocky (Jane Levy), Money (Daniel Zovatto) and Alex (Dylan Minnette) in trouble when they break into the house of a blind war veteran in an attempt to steal his money. After a successful stint of breaking into a number of houses, the gang think the lonely blind man will be an easy picking, however, they discover that despite his disability the trained killer is a force to be reckoned with.

Don’t Breathe has attracted quite a lot of attention; people on my social network feeds have been raving about it for the past week or so. However, when I first watched the trailer a while back I wasn’t exactly buzzing with excitement for it. I thought it looked quite mediocre and the premise was a little over the top but what did interest me was the cast. I really enjoyed Jane Levy in Suburgatory so was interested to see how she’d waver in this environment. I’m happy to say that I really liked this movie.

There’s no time wasted in getting into the swing of things. The exposition of the film does its job well; we meet our ‘heroes’ (if we can even call them that), we learn their motives. While Money is in it purely for greed, Rocky wants to build a better like for her sister away from her alcoholic/abusive mother. And Alex just wants to help Rocky. There’s an instant connection with Rocky and Alex who seem to have some redeeming qualities. After the first 15 minutes or so, night falls and the trio are beginning their break in.

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Image from IMDB

Being that the majority of Don’t Breathe is filmed in real time director, Fede Alvarez, has the perfect chance to draw you to the edge of your seat and keep you there as you watch the action unfold. And he does it well. Exciting camera work and speedy pacing makes for an exciting yet gripping watch. If you can ignore the gaping plot holes, mostly being to do with The Blind Man’s almost super human abilities, the film really is an excellent viewing experience.

However, the strongest part of Don’t Breathe is the acting. The Blind Man, played terrifically by Stephen Lang, is both parts sinister and intelligent. Not as innocent as he first seems, it becomes  clear he’s not in the business of taking any prisoners. He becomes the perfect villain within the first 10 minutes of meeting him. But it’s Jane Levy and Dylan Minnette that really keep it going. Their strong performances keep you rooting for their escape; which becomes much less morally conflicting when they uncover The Blind Man’s sadistic secret.

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Image from IMDB

Ultimately, Don’t Breathe doesn’t pretend to be complex or attempt to be anything extraordinary. What it does do is blend a decent story line, some good talent and excellent camera play to create a blood-racing, pulse-heightening viewing experience that ticks almost all the boxes for a good, solid thriller.

Andrew. 

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