<Review by: Sailesh Ghelani>
Directed by Fede Alvarez. Starring Jane Levy, Dylan Minnette, Daniel Zovatto, Stephen Lang
Running Time 1 hour 28 minutes
Considering all the scary-movie producers one would think this is a film about yet another ghostly house. But it actually has something far scarier – a crazy human being.
We’re all pretty tired of the formulaic ghost films with the evil screaming little girl, the doors banging shut and black liquids pouring forth from various orifices. They’re done to death (pardon the pun).
In Don’t Breathe we’re quickly introduced to a trio of small-time burglars: Rocky (Jane Levy), Alex (Dylan Minnette) and Money (Daniel Zovatto). They have access to easy hits thanks to Alex’s father’s home security job. Rocky tries on clothes at the house they break into and her boyfriend Money pees over the floor, and Alex just look terrified and serious throughout the film!
Their fence tells them of a house where they can find $300,000 in cash. But Alex – who is the conscience of the group as well as the walking authority on the law – doesn’t want to, at first. But Rocky needs to get her daughter out of a difficult family situation and needs the cash. So Alex, who has a bit of crush on her, acquiesces and they stake out the place finding out the owner is a blind military veteran with a big dog. How they know he has the cash at home, we are never told. What is the motive for Alex, who seems to have a regular life, to steal and betray his father, we don’t know.
Without much of a plan, the three break in while the Blind Man (Stephen Lang) is sleeping. One would think that all the noise they make would wake up the man. It eventually does and boy are they in for a surprise. The beefy blind man quickly overpowers them and the invaders become the invaded.
Don’t Breathe utilises a lot of familiar jump-scares and at first you’re looking at a limited situation where you know the blind guy is probably gonna beat the shit of these doofuses. But gradually the film gets creepier and more involved.
Of course it’s difficult to have sympathy for three goons who want to steal from a blind man who lost his daughter in an accident. You pretty much want him to blow their brains out. And considering Rocky’s determination to walk away with all the money in the face of getting her teammates killed and almost dying herself, it’s very hard to feel otherwise. Blind Man and his dark secrets turn out to be a bit more sinister than the petty thieves though.
The actors here are not the heroes of the film. Stephen Lang does a solid job though. There are a few plot holes and some laugh out loud moments where you wonder if American’s really are that stupid to risk their lives to steal someone else’s cash.
There’s some disturbing stuff in here involving a turkey baster and a harness too. Don’t Breathe isn’t so much scary as it is disturbing considering there are no characters in the film that you can really root for as you see no attempt at redemption. But it’s cool to see a blind man get revenge over a gang of numb nuts who can’t work for their own money.