‘Don’t Breathe’ Is One Of The Most Effective Horror Films In Years

‘Don’t Breathe’ Remains Subtly Suspenseful Until The Great Over-The-Top Third Act!

There’s no surprise on why ‘Don’t Breathe‘ is projected to trump ‘Suicide Squad‘ at the box office. Not only has the superhero film worn out its welcome BUT this horror film is simply awesome. With amazing suspense throughout, you are on the edge of your seat the entire time. Then they kick off a grand gross-out finale. This is type of movie that, love or hate, you will run out to tell someone about it right away.

Don’t Breathe‘ director Fede Alvarez promised after his gory remake of ‘Evil Dead‘ that he’d stay away from blood here. I was surprised that he mostly kept up his promise. While there is some violence and blood in the movie, it was kept rather tame compared to his previous work. But he makes up for all that blood with one scene involving another bodily fluid. Don’t want to spoil it much but the audience reaction was priceless once the film got to this level.

That’s something I loved about ‘Don’t Breathe‘. You knew it was building up to something the entire time. That plays into the great direction and solid screenplay by Alvarez. He spoon-feeds you enough hints throughout to give you what you need but then sweeps the rug from under you with great mis-directions. This is how to use genre tropes and cliches to your advantage. The audience knows what to expect from horror by now so you give them what they think they want but keep them guessing. Honestly, it’s refreshing to see a mainstream horror film not use cheap jump scares as their source of shocks.

“Just because he’s blind doesn’t mean he’s a saint, bro.”
Money (Daniel Zovatto)

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Don’t Breathe‘ follows the story of three robbers who are out to do that “one final heist” and then they’re done for good. We all know how that turns out in movies. They are introduced in the middle of a random robbery where we establish each character perfectly. Jane Levy plays Rocky, someone who is doing these crimes to better her and her sister’s trailer trash life. Dylan Minnette is the obvious love-struck Alex who is the reason they have access to all these houses. And then you have Money played by the great Daniel Zovatto; he’s obviously the hustler of the group. Each character comes with proper motivation and enough explanation.

The group, after some hesitation, finally decided to score big and steal cash from this seemingly perfect house. The man they are robbing is a military veteran with a sad backstory that gave hims loads of cash. When they found out he is blind, this robbery seems easier and easier by the minute. That is until they get into the house and instantly found out The Blind Man, played by Stephen Lang, is more than they can handle. This typical home invasion movie becomes an action-filled fight to live for these robbers.

Don't Breathe

With its low budget, ‘Don’t Breathe‘ allowed for less studio interference and you can tell the filmmakers were allowed more room to play. It had a unique feel to it with some masterful visuals; something you don’t get too often anymore. Cinematographer Pedro Luque used amazing camera tricks like an awesome one-take scene to give you a layout of the house. Also, the “lights out” scene was amazing. Really seemed like the actors were lost in the dark with a wild man!

Final Thoughts:

That nearly $10 million budget can easily be made back its first week, which will please the higher ups at Ghost House Pictures and Screen Gems. I also think it will have a strong second week with all the positive word-of-mouth.

Love seeing horror like this push boundaries rather than sitting through those Hollywood-style dull supernatural movies. These twisted real-life situations terrify me far more than some ghoul could ever.

Some artistry on displace throughout ‘Don’t Breathe‘. All the major key players like the director, writers, cinematographer, and actors really came together to make a thrilling night at the movies. I can see this being in the top 3 best horror films of 2016, just behind ‘10 Cloverfield Lane‘ and ‘The Witch‘.

You have to go see ‘Don’t Breathe‘ immediately! Horror fans, thriller fans, action fans, and fans of nasty twists will all love this movie.

The film stars Stephen Lang, Jane Levy, and Dylan Minnette.

Check it out in theaters nationwide on August 26th!

Don’t forget to leave a comment if you liked or disliked this review.

EJ Moreno
EJ Morenohttp://Vimeo.com/EJMoreno
Who is EJ Moreno? Is he a trained physician? No. Is he a former Miss Universe contestant? Possibly. With a bachelors degree in film and a love of pop culture, he brings an alternative view to the world of pop culture journalism. Follow him on Twitter @EJKhryst and check out his film work at Vimeo.com/ejmoreno