Don't Breathe Movie Review
Intense, exciting and exhilarating, Don't Breathe is a gratifying and--yes--breathtaking horror film that will make you never want to use a turkey baster again.
Three stupid young people seeking riches break into the home of a blind military vet and get exactly what they deserve and more when it turns out the guy is much more dangerous, ruthless and a tad off his rocker than they could have anticipated.
With Don't Breathe, director Fede Alvarez has assembled a slick, tight, 90-minute thrill ride that will truly make you hold your breathe. Beautifully shot, patiently filmed and superbly acted, Alvarez refuses to succumb to common horror tropes, despite his characters confined to a small space with limited room to maneuver. Even the story and action, while not explicitly original, feel fresh and unpredictable.
Though the movie has its gory moments, Alvarez relies on grounded violence and realistic suspense over the blood splatter and absurdities you'd expect from what is, at its core, a form of “slasher” flick (though to call it such is to some degree unfair). There are a couple moments where he has to resort to horror clichés--it's hard to imagine the characters not calling the cops early on, despite their own culpability, and a line about “my phone is dead” makes it in there, too--but those are the film's only weaknesses.
Jane Levy, who starred in Alvarez’s effective if unnecessary Evil Dead remake, is terrific, and Steven Lang sizzles as one of the most memorable horror villains in years. He's creepy, deadly and psychotic, and complete believable—and frightening--as a blind man with a lust for blood.
Don't Breathe is everything you want it to be--just a damn good horror movie, turkey baster and all.
Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.