The less you know about Don’t Breathe walking into it, the better off you’ll be. I’m going to try my hardest to review this movie without telling you too much, but I’ve been known to spoil movies in the past. You’ve been warned.
Rocky, Alex and Money are small-time burglars who use Alex’s ties to a Security Firm to break into homes. They think they’ve found an easy mark with an old, blind man who is hoarding large sums of cash in his home. He turns out to be a Gulf War veteran though, who won’t turn over the goods as easily as expected. Guns are drawn, the lights go out, and all hell breaks loose.
Don’t Breathe is the latest from Director Fede Alvarez, who remade Evil Dead in 2013. He appears to be having an absolute blast. Alvarez sets the stage with a long trip through our veteran’s house, dropping little hints along with way. “Is that a crawl-space? Who’s in the pictures on the mantel? And see that mallet? You’re gonna see MORE of it soon!”
The actors are fantastic, namely baby-faced Dylan Minnette as “Alex” and Jane Levy as our heroine “Rocky.” Stephen Lang steals the whole movie as “The Blind Man,” though. Is he a hero or a villain? Or BOTH? It takes about 50 of Don’t Breathe‘s brief 88 minutes to figure that out.
The only real misstep in Don’t Breathe comes in the form of a twist, which detracts from it’s otherwise Less is More ethic. I won’t go into specifics, except to say that it’s horrible and a bit ridiculous, but it does set up a solid ending. It’s also the only downside of an otherwise fantastic film. Oh, don’t get me wrong. Don’t Breathe is agonizing! It will have you squirming and biting your nails, but it will also remind you how gut-wrenching suspense can be outrageously fun. B+