“Don’t Breathe” (2016)| Film Review

Don’t Breathe
Directed by Fede Alvarez.
Written by Fede Alvarez and Rodo Sayagues.
Starting: Jane Levy, Dylan Minnette, Daniel Zovatto, and Stephen Lang. 

Can Stephen Lang play Cable? He proves time and time again that he deserves such a role, he is an astounding actor, and his role in Terra Nova will not be simply forgotten. (this one either)

In this horror-thriller movie, three teens intend on stealing from a blind man’s house, as it is thought he has loads of money hidden. What they suspect to be an easy target turns into a fight for survival, as this man is keeping something hidden in his house besides the money, and he is not willing to let them go and ruin what he has worked to build. What seems like a Panic Room’ like premise turns into a developed tale of anxiety, in which karma becomes the motto, for both antagonists (the teens and the old man). It brings the whole ‘home invasion” into new light, the invaders are no longer the villains, but rather, sort of, the victims. 

It is a suspenseful movie, we are constantly at the edge of our seat waiting to see who is going to make it (we all hope it is Alex), and what exactly is the old blind man hiding in his basement that has him terrified of discovery. And through every new moment, our perception is changed, a new fear creeps in, and suddenly, what we are shown is not what we have suspected all along. 

Stephen Lang  and Dylan Minnette’s character portrayals were fantastic. I wanted to constantly see what else both of them would do, and I cared whether they lived or died, even though I really wanted Lang’s character to die and Minnette’s to get a happy life away from everyone. Lang’s range is extended, from every role he has done, his personality and dialogue are a huge part of the character. In here, he is barely given any lines, and he wonderfully frightens us all with his stance and facial expressions alone. A masterful actor that deserves much more praise and roles than he gets. Minnette also gets a chance to shine, as he is the only redeemable person in the entire film. This actor, whom I hope will get many other great roles in the future, has simply a couple scenes and barely any lines to establish his background, which are done in a no-nonsense manner.

The director and the editors did a wonderful job with the movie, accompanied by the score and dark cinematography, it brought us a suspense-filled story, however, it got a bit cocky in the end and did something that made me despise the end. After we cut to black, and assume that it is the perfect end for the tale, we are given a new scene with the real ending, an ending that provides good commentary on some police work and news reports, but that seems lacking when it comes to the story it is attached to.

Throwing aside some similarities to Panic Room, (characters and scenery etc) it is an entertaining movie for a short thrill ride. I just hope this doesn’t spin off worse films with very little character and plot development. 

★★★½

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