Don’t Breathe: Movie Review

Stephen Lang;Daniel Zovatto

Don’t breathe is a 2016 thriller/horror movie directed by Fede Alvarez. Before that, he only gave us an Evil dead remake that I avoided like the plague. Please, Hollywood you should only remake movies with good ideas behind but poorly made, and not well-made movies! Sam Raimi’s Evil dead (1981) is perfect as it is! But, since I am nothing and Raimi clearly enjoyed the remake of his movie, Raimi himself produced the second movie by Alvarez: Don’t breathe.

And thank you for that! It’s a superb movie! The plot is simple: three young thieves in Detroit dream about being able to move to California to start a new life. One day they hear about a seemingly great opportunity: a blind war veteran lives in an isolated house where he’s supposedly hiding 300,000 dollars in cash. Easy money, right? And that’s it for my spoilers, that is I only spoiled you only the first five minutes. If you haven’t watched the movie, do it asap!

Why? Because Fede Alvarez made a movie full of suspense, with an incredible atmosphere, and perfectly directed all his young actors (Jane Levy, Dylan Minnette e Daniel Zovatto). I was unable to move from the sofa the whole time, and even if after a while we understand where the movie is going, there is nothing trivial in the plot development, nor in how the director shows the sequence of events. There are several interesting scenes: for instance, the one in total darkness (I appreciated the detail of the dilated pupils of the actors!) is really scary, and all the action scenes are well choreographed and exciting. There is little blood, and at times it’s unfortunately CGI blood, but there’s violence enough to make us feel tense all the time. Moreover, Stephen Lang is perfectly cast as the blind man: imposing both physically and with his voice.

Don’t breathe demonstrates once again that a small budget movie can be great if there are good ideas behind it. In this case, a simple plot, well-directed actors, and an incredible attention to the set design and to the level of tension/suspense (basically the opposite of It: Chapter One by Andy Muschietti), which is crucial in a horror movie (as in It follows, 2014, and in The witch, 2015!).

PS: if you have seen the movie already… I would have expected a darker ending. And in fact I’ve read that initially Alvarez had a darker ending in mind! But this is nitpicking, Don’t breathe is truly a great movie!

 


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