Time: 88 minutes
Age Rating: Violence, sexual violence & offensive language
Jane Levy as Rocky
Stephen Lang as Norman Nordstrom/The Blind Man
Dylan Minnette as Alex
Daniel Zovatto as Money
Director: Fede Alvarez
Rocky (Jane Levy), a young woman wanting to start a better life for her and her sister, agrees to take part in the robbery of a house owned by a wealthy blind man (Stephen Lang) with her boyfriend Money (Daniel Zovatto) and their friend Alex (Dylan Minnette). But when the blind man turns out to be a more ruthless adversary than he seems, the group must find a way to escape his home before they become his newest victims.
Horror films nowadays are mostly hit or miss, so I don’t really expect many great horror films every year save for a few. Don’t Breathe however was a movie that has been getting some attention, so naturally I had to check it out. I have to say, Don’t Breathe surprised me, I didn’t expect this movie to be so great. With so many mediocre and occasionally terrible horror movies being released nowadays, it’s nice to see a horror film which can really deliver the tension and scares. This is a must see for horror fans.
This movie is quite simple in its premise but what makes this movie so great is the execution. This movie is filled with tension. What helped was that this film was pretty contained, it took place mostly inside the Blind Man’s house, and the characters are constantly trying to escape, so the tension never falters once until the end of the movie. I had no idea what direction this film was going in or how it was going to end, the film was very unpredictable. What helps is that this film has like a few characters that it follows, so the film can’t just rely on brutal deaths to increase the scare factor, they need to make the tension work, and they really succeed. If there are any complaints I can make, there is a sort of plot twist that happens near the end of the movie. This plot point is okay, but I don’t think it works fully, without spoiling anything. Also, the last few minutes of the film I felt was unnecessary, it would’ve been better if those were taken out. Overall though I didn’t have a lot of problems with this movie.
There weren’t a lot of actors in this movie, but the cast did quite a good job. Stephen Lang was really effective as the antagonist of the film, he is a force of nature and is very scary, and he didn’t have many lines. Jane Levy was great in yet another horror movie, she was very believable in her role and so was Dylan Minnuette in his role, both of them gave good performances.
The majority of this film’s success is in its direction, this film is directed excellently. I found out afterwards that the film was directed by Fede Alvarez, who directed the remake of Evil Dead, I can’t wait to see more horror movies from him in the future. There’s definitely not as much blood and gore as there was in Evil Dead, but there was tension throughout, and it never fails. The jump scares that are in this movie aren’t fake, when they are there, they are real scares and actually work. The cinematography and the sound design were absolutely on point, you really feel like you are there with these characters as the movie goes on.
Don’t Breathe was a real surprise for me. All the elements of the film (particularly the direction) help to make this such a thrilling horror movie. It is one of my favourite horror movies of this year, however then again, I guess that’s not saying a lot considering the majority of horror movies are kind of poor. Don’t Breathe was a breath of fresh air in the horror and home invasion genre and is definitely worth watching if you are a fan of horror.