Movie Review: Don’t Breathe (2016)

Posted: December 9, 2016 in Action, horror

dont-breathe

Small-time burglars Money, (Daniel Zovatto) Alex, (Dylan Minette) and Rocky (Jane Levy) are tired of small robberies.  They hear about a man who got a six-figure settlement after his daughter was killed.  Rocky has a dream to steal the money and leave Detroit for good with her daughter, Diddy. (Emma Bercovici)While casing the house, they realize the man is blind.  Alex has second thoughts, but decides to go along with Money and Rocky.  The trio breaks in, but The Blind Man (Stephen Lang) finds out that Money is in the house.  They struggle, what happens next?  And what happens to Alex and Rocky?

Don’t Breathe tries to manipulate the viewer in several ways.  The kids are poor, one is a single mother, they are “clean cut,” they could be anyone’s kids, so they should get some sympathy.  The “victim” is an old, blind man, seemingly defenseless from the teens, so he should get some sympathy.  The problem with the script is that neither the kids nor the blind man is worth pitying and all of them seem damn near indestructible, an old horror movie trick.  The plot also seems to run out of steam pretty quickly, and the viewer gets a tour of every room in the blind man’s house, which is just another excuse for more mindless violence.  And when the writers get sick of gunplay and beatings, the script takes an uglier turn.    What’s the moral of the story?  Don’t give a blind man a gun. The real crime here is that this movie was made for 9 million dollars and grossed 89 million, which means the director will get a lot more work

The direction is interesting visually, there are shots in allies and in-between buildings, and all kinds of interesting angles, and they succeed in making Detroit look like a foreboding place, but the pacing was slow, it took forever to get to the end of a 90 minute movie. I don’t know if the performances were good or not, because there was such little dialogue.  Were these actors being paid by the word? Sam Raimi is the producer here, but its scares on a budget. But Raimi knows his way around a low budget horror flick.  He produced Evil Dead on a low budget with the same writers and director.

Don’t Breathe:  Don’t Waste Your Breath.

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