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Review Don't Breathe (2016): Was different from what I expected but entertaining nonetheless!

genre: crime, horror, thriller






One thing you have to be aware of that this film only achieves a fraction of what was it set out to do. I mean if the poster is any indication it's the movie's goal to frighten you to death. But in order for that to occur you need to suspend disbelief big time. Now I know that a lot of fans will defend this movie and claim it's clever, original and gripping. And for a part I can go along with that. But I don't care how much you liked it the film is full of flaws that could get in the way of a pleasant viewing experience.

Let me start with the obvious. How can you still root for people who are nothing but low life thugs even willing to rob blind people? Had they not known this fact then you could have given them a pass. Still they do remain to be criminals who not only steal other peoples's belongings they also behave like fully fledged burglars do like urinating etc. Don't know about you but that kind of thing is disgusting. Not only do you invade someone's home of which the consequence is that you won't feel secure for a long time but to add insult to the injury they also humiliate you. Naturally the film tries to make at least two of these youngsters seem sympathetic and yes maybe in certain scenes the film manages to make me feel sorry for them. But not because they are so good and regretful. Only I can't tell you the reason why I did feel that way since that would be spoiling so I won't.

Now Don't Breathe would have been a boring film had it just been one of those dime in a dozen home invasion thrillers. But this is not one of those since there is one man that could make even reading the yellow pages interesting. I am of course talking about Stephen Lang. Say what you want about the man but he is intense. In this film he is so much more so. There are several layers to him and each of those layers will make you feel differently about him. And that is the biggest strength of this movie. The don't breathe part that suggests that the blind man can see in the darkness through sound almost like Daredevil does is not present that much. I had hoped for a thrilling cat and mouse play between the blind man and the thugs where on each side they would outsmart each other and that both sides would prove to be worthy opponents. I was also hoping for a supernatural twist where the blind man turns out to be a vampire, ghost or something in that category and would turn the tables in other ways than what is shown in the film. None of these things happen but believe it or not director Fede Alvarez did achieve to surprise me concerning the blind man. I can promise you that you won't see it coming. (To be clear it is the second reveal in the film.) Still I can't help but feel that this film could have done more. If I compare this to The Good Neigbor for example which has almost a similar premise then I think that film is far more thrilling and creative than Don't Breathe so do check out that one.

Overall Don't Breathe is an entertaining film and won't disappoint if you keep your expectations low. Although I do have to add that for real horror aficionados this film comes a little short.




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