Review: ‘Don’t Breathe’ Is Confined, Edge Of Your Seat Fun
“Don’t Breathe” will have you holding your breath anticipating the jumps.
From the director of the “Evil Dead” reboot, Fede Alvarez introduces us to a unique thriller starring fan favorite Stephen Lang. Lang plays a blind man expected to be the victim of a robbery but quickly changes roles. As the three robbers attempt to escape the home they intended to rob, they find themselves in a world of terror. This blind man is now the hunter and they are his prey.
Cinematics (Cinematography, Acting, Plot, etc.) – 3
As a horror/thriller, “Don’t Breathe” aims its focus at unanticipated scares. To catch audiences off guard certain elements are fast tracked such as character development and plot. The three thieves have their reasons for criminal activity and Stephen Lang’s character is established as a military vet that fell into some money. When the seemingly easy crime becomes increasingly more dangerous, the film begins to take shape.
The cinematic joy of this film lies in the creation of the environment. The shots are tight and narrow creating an asphyxiated setting that builds the anticipation and anxiety. Adding to that anxiety is the dark and ominous tone. There’s a necessity for silence and when that silence is broken, things quickly jump out from these dark corners. The confinement set by the camera shots and the visual impairment set by the dark interior allow “Don’t Breathe” to thrive as a thriller.
This is also a film that truly allows Stephen Lang to thrive as an actor. His performance supplements the setting that is already built through his emotional ferocity. He easily sells being blind and out of all of the characters, his character is the most intriguing. I was thoroughly impressed. Jane Levy was also adequate in her role but wasn’t close to rivaling Lang’s performance. If you’ve seen the “Evil Dead” remake then you can expect much of the same from that role. She’s mostly a scared individual on the run with moments of courage when pushed.
Overall “Don’t Breathe” has the simplistic cinematic aspects you’d expect from a horror/thriller film, but thrives very well in its genre.
Entertainment Value – 4
In the horror/thriller genre, entertainment is key. “Don’t Breathe” truly excels in this area with its constant state of uncertainty. It’s exciting not knowing who will prevail and there’s also a question of who the victor should be. While I was questioning the morals of both Lang’s character and those invading his home, it seemed like my mind was in constant disarray.
The onset panic derived from the necessity for escape kept my heart pounding. When the panic subsided, I was able to contemplate the situation at hand, exploring the moral integrity of every party involved. The thrills piqued my interest and navigating the film with my own moral compass left me with a lasting impression.
Re-Watchability – 3.5
“Don’t Breathe” is a lot of fun yet there are a few moments that cannot be relived. That’s not a deterrent from re-watching this film, it’s just a minor pitfall. I personally think this would be a fun film to watch a few more times. In particular, this would be a fun thriller for Halloween season for those that aren’t keen on intense horror.
- Entertainment Value
"Don't Breathe" is the type of thriller that will literally have you holding your breath. Stephen Lang is in top form with a standout performance. This is a simple but fun film that should be a crowd pleaser for those that enjoy the thriller genre.
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