Don’t Breathe (2016)

Director: Fede Alvarez
Writers: Fede Alvarez, Rodo Sayagues
Stars: Stephen Lang, Jane Levy, Dylan Minnette

From writer/director Fred Alvarez, Don’t Breathe is his second feature film. He is quickly gaining a name for himself in horror circles, but I’m not personally convinced it is for the right reasons. His first feature, which he also both wrote and directed was the Evil Dead remake, which as a huge fan of the original I was not terribly impressed with despite its plaudits (and you should already be aware of my opinion of pointless remakes). The modern generation really need to start watching films made before the year two thousand.

Anyway, in the slums of Detroit, some loser, no-hope kids are getting easy scores by breaking into posh houses. It’s easy money for the serial thieves/thrill seekers as one of them has master keys as their targets all use his fathers security company. Convenient huh? And no, not a one of them thinks that eventually it might look a little suspicious. Whatever, moving on. Each one has a sob-story to tell in order to try and make them a little more likeable. Bottom line is, they are dumb waster kids. We don’t really care.

They get word of an army vet who got a big settlement after an accident involving his daughter. While scouting out the house they realise that their target is blind and decide to hit the house that night thinking it will be simple as, simple be. Unfortunately for them (or fortunately for us), this is one blind army vet who doesn’t take being robbed lying down and retaliates with force. That night the kids break in, disable the alarm and then everything starts to go south for them.

I will say the film is actually quite entertaining and Stephen Lang (Avatar) as the blind man is certainly the star of the show. He really is menacing and creepy and you’re quite happy for him to be dispatching dumb idiot teenagers. The rest of the acting is reasonable but nothing to shout out about. There is also some great atmosphere building along with some good camera effects. The lighting and sound are also above average when so many recent films can’t even get these two simple things right. So a major plus there for this feature.

To sum up, Don’t Breathe is an entertaining and surprisingly well made film with high production values. Despite its rather hysterically positive reception (maybe some folk just don’t watch a lot of films), it is ultimately full of the usual old and tired horror cliches which does let the film down. Despite it doing what it does very well, there is nothing really new here on offer but should ultimately satisfy you. Certainly one of the better films of this type.

The Sage’s Rating:

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