HALLOWEEN IS HERE!: DON’T BREATHE [2016]

dont-breath-1-1-196922

Directed by Fede Alvarez

Written by Fede Alvarez, Rodo Sayagues

Starring: Stephen Lang, Jane Levy, Dylan Minnette, Daniel Zovatto, Emma Bercovici


Following the first scene, which is a risky move as it shows us a situation from near the end of the film at the beginning, but is executed in an intelligent and subversive way, we are in the thick of the action. Three friends are thieves and they do their best to get as big a score as they can. Executed well here is the slow reveal of information, as we piece together exactly what they are doing. These scenes should have been longer.

When they find out about 300,000$ sitting under an elderly war veteran, they see an easy target. Upon scoping the place out, which seems to be in a type of ‘ghost town’, they see the man and realise that he is blind.Β  Of course now all three have dollar signs bulging out their eye sockets. Robbing a blind man, what could be easier?

Jane Levy stars in Screen Gems' horror-thriller DON'T BREATHE.

Obviously this is far from how the movie plays out. The three enter the home, and for the first time I have seen, they actually REMOVE THEIR SHOES before breaking and entering. The amount of times I see criminals or victims not taking their shoes off to make less noise maddens me!

Ahem.

While they try to be quiet, they aren’t quiet enough as they soon wake up the sleeping beauty. Old and battered looking, sporting a pair of dead, soulless eyes, Stephen Lang nails his role as the feisty blind man who has a thing or two to teach these youngins. He is one of the best villains I can recall in recent memory; I’ll be seeing his eyes whenever I think about movie villains.

Going into any more details would spoil the party, but it must be said that this subverts many genre tropes and clichΓ©s, and is not afraid to be gritty and dark. There are even a few dark jokes… That I think only I laughed at.

There are a few jump-scares scattered around though, which can get old quickly, but they are used in such a way that every time they happen, it furthers the narrative and often adds increasing intrigue to the story. This is all a great twist on the ‘home-invasion’ genre of movies, and one of the best I have seen in a long time.

What must be emphasised though is that this is not a horror movie. This is a thriller. A great one. But there is nothing horrifying to witness, apart from the blind man’s eyes perhaps, and despite the nail-biting tension, there is a surprising lack of atmosphere. This is helped somewhat by the subtle pumping score that adds to each scene, but the film certainly lacks a menacing atmosphere present in something like The Witch.

Upon walking out I asked an elderly couple if they enjoyed it, as I had heard them laughing a few times during the film. Surprisingly they found it quite comical; they enjoyed the film, but found the three friends shallow and their actions a little silly. They also emphasised what I though as I walked out – this is a good film, but it is not horror flick.

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Don’t Breathe felt like it had two endings, but both of them were well executed, and again slightly subverted the norm. And while the editing here is extremely tight, I wouldn’t have minded some morefive beer(1) lingering shots, as there are a few incredibly orchestrated moving single takes that swoop around the invaders. It would have also been nice to get to know these three characters before they enter the blind man’s house though, as I said, the intro is disappointingly short. We get a glimpse into their life and what they do, but that is all we get. These characters are extremely thin, but a testament to the film, it is still extremely gripping and filled with suspense till the very end.

Don’t miss it.

One beer short of a six pack

5/6

16 Comments on “HALLOWEEN IS HERE!: DON’T BREATHE [2016]

    • I guess I can see that, the ending really was great. I never felt any sense of dread though, I guess that is what I look for in horror movies

      Like

  1. Great post πŸ™‚ Don’t Breathe was a very good thriller. Speaking of thrillers, what do you think of the thrillers of filmmaker Brian De Palma? That is If you have seen any of his films? Anyway, keep up the great work as always πŸ™‚

    Like

  2. Nice review Jordy looking forward to watching this one πŸ™‚ I’ve heard it’s more of a thriller than a horror. I wonder if I laugh at the dark jokes too…probably! And kudos to the gang for taking their shoes off πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    • haha yeah, the only other movie I’ve seen a guy do that in is Grand Budapest Hotel, when Willam Dafoe is hunting down Goldblum in the museum (kuntsmuseum as it says on the bus, haha, is that musuem in German??). I’m sure there are many other examples though. Have you seen Budapest? Seriously one of the best of the last few years.

      Yeah I thought this was way more of a thriller, nothing really scared me here or unsettled me, it was just suuuper tense. It is similar to The Badadook in that its more of a thriller, thought the last act of The Babadook is freaking insane.

      And yeah, if you’re anything like me, which it seems you are, I bet you’ll have a laugh or too as well when you see this πŸ˜‰

      Like

  3. Yes! I’m with you on it not being an outright horror flick, but it definitely veers into some creepy shit by the end. Like…super creamy, I mean, uh…creepy.

    I’m with the old people who thought these kids did some dumb stuff…but, it was pretty clear they weren’t the sharpest tools in the shed, you know?

    (Money was a total moron).

    I gotta hang here more often.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for visiting my friend πŸ™‚ And yeah it certainly ramps up in that final act…. reminded me a little of how The Babadook went all bat-shit crazy in the last act. And that dude’s eyes…. that was probably the scariest thing about the movie. Those eyes!!

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  4. I’m thinking of watching this one tonight… missed it first time round but my local cinema is showing it for Halloween. Sounds good!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Its a bloody good ride. Tense as all hell!! I wouldn’t consider it a horror flick but I think many would. To me though it is more of a psychological thriller, which is perhaps my favourite genre ;D

      Like

  5. Looks like you’ve been on a roll on your Halloween marathon! Well, I mentioned this film to a horror filmmaker I interviewed, as his film was about home invasion in a lake house. I didn’t see it though, as you know I have feeble nerves!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hehe, this one is tense as all hell. I wouldn’t really call it a horror film, its a psychological thriller, which is my favourite genre πŸ˜€

      I haven’t really seen anything I’d consider a proper horror movie recently apart from The Witch and It Follows

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Pingback: TOP TEN FILMS OF 2016 | epileptic moondancer

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