Don’t Breathe (2016)
When 3 punks (Dylan Minnette, Daniel Zovatto, Jane Levy) who are barely old enough to vote decide to rob a blind man for over $300,000, they think it should be a piece of cake, but what they didn’t count on is the blind man (Stephen Lang) being ex-military and stealing their gun. Now trapped in the house with no way out (unless making plenty of noise), these kids have to find a way to escape without ending up dead.
On paper this movie doesn’t seem like it should add up to much, but the previews for this movie had me wanting to see this bad! The movie starts out plain enough and sets up the story well. The break-in and the initial encounters with the blind man are quite gripping and interesting, but what follows after is this movies downfall.
What Don’t Breathe got right… Don’t Breathe created a situation and characters that were easily relatable. Anyone watching this movie will get caught up in it as if they were there. The atmosphere and use of lighting is what caused the most tension and had audience squirming in their chairs. The idea of this film is the biggest positive for the whole experience.
What Don’t Breathe did poorly… Don’t Breathe dropped the ball when it came to adding a story surrounding the simple premise. This movie fell into the trap of “solve a problem, add another.” Similar to the movie Gravity, once someone got out of one bad situation, another one popped right up to replace it. There never seemed to be a time when things were getting better without something horrible happening within minutes. There were plenty of times I found myself yelling the “don’t run up the stairs” clichés because the characters were that dumb when it came to trying to escape this house. Without giving away a spoiler, there is something the kids find inside the house that takes the story to another level, however, instead drawing it out or keeping it a secret to add mystery, the filmmakers tell the audience about what is going on and then promptly ends that side story. These are the kind of things that can make horror movies memorable and Don’t Breathe screwed it up. Did I mention this movie isn’t even scary?
At the end of the day, Don’t Breathe is effective in some areas but when it comes down to it, this movie will have you irritated by the end. There are 3 people verses 1 blind guy and they expect me to believe that the blind guy can keep up the hunt for as long as he does? I don’t think so. They could have done so much more with the blind man’s backstory but it is barely there. I’m 50/50 on this movie, so my best advise is to watch it and see for yourself, but I won’t see it again.
5/10 Stars – Sure this movie adds tension when it needs to, but with no scares and lack of a good connecting story, this movie ends up being more trouble than it’s worth.