Steven Escareno is an amateur film critic who writes about movies in his spare time.
7.8 / 10
- Great use of cinematography to capture the claustrophobic moments of the film. I especially loved the blackout scenes where even though it was pitch black, you were still able to follow perfectly what was going on.
- Acting was fairly decent.
- Direction was good.
- Decent script. Nothing great, but nothing bad either.
- Pacing was good.
- Stephen Lang plays a very intimidating blind man, who's both terrifying, and surprisingly sympathetic.
- The concept of a blind man being able to easily beat up three able-bodied adults is kind of absurd. But hey, if people can believe Rocky Balboa can get hit in the head so many times in a boxing movie that he never suffers a concussion, or how Captain Kirk never catches an STD considering how many alien girls he sleeps with, then I guess we can buy into the fact that an old blind man can be a bad a** for the sake of cinematic entertainment.
- With the exception of Rocky (the main female lead) and the blind man, most of the characters come off as generic stereotypes.
In Real Life, the Old Man Would Be Dead
In a scenario that sounds like it would be part of "World's Dumbest Criminals" on True TV, it's actually presented as a horror thriller story that's not light-hearted at all. Don't Breathe is a film about three burglars that decide to break into a blind man's home because they heard he has recently come into some money. Apparently, the guy's daughter was killed in an accident, which landed him over three hundred thousand dollars. Now, you'd think that most people would've just put that money into a bank, but apparently, this old man would rather keep it locked up in a safe inside his house.
Anyways, the burglars find out about the money and decide to rob him. One of them is a single mother, who merely wants to use the money to move out of her verbally abusive mother's home, one guy is totally smitten by her, and the other one is just a d**k. With a premise like this, you'd normally expect the blind man to end up dead after they steal all his money.
However, this blind man was an ex-military soldier, who seems to possess super hearing. Granted, they never outright say he has super hearing, but they might as well considering that it's heavily implied throughout most of the movie. Plus, he's able to take on our protagonists quite easily.
Read More From Reelrundown
Now before you all start to root for the old man defending his home, I should warn you that he's not as innocent as he seems. I won't divulge what happens, but let's just say that the old man is a sick mother f**ker, who might be more dangerous than any of the burglars robbing his house. Let me put it to you this way. If you put sperm inside a turkey baster and use it to try to impregnate a girl, then chances are you have some serious issues. Just saying.
While not the best-written thriller, Don't Breathe is delightfully entertaining for the most part. It has a lot of atmosphere, and setup that helps add to the tone of the overall movie. The single camera technique during the burglary scenes was impressive, and it gives you that claustrophobic feel to the movie itself.
I especially love the scene when the blind man turns off the lights, but somehow the cinematography is still able to allow us to see everything that's happening. It adds a lot of intrigue and suspense to the moment, which is a nice touch by the cinematographer.
The acting for the most part was fairly decent. Although apart from Rocky (who's the main character) and the blind man, most of the characters tend to be generic stereotypes. As I mentioned earlier, one of them is an ego-maniac abusive boyfriend, who's essentially a stereotypical thug, while the other guy is nothing more than the generic yuppie nice guy. Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying I hate them, but they're just not that interesting.
As for Rocky, she's essentially the main character, who's trying to get enough money to build a better life for herself and her little sister. Granted, what she plans to do to get the money is obviously wrong, but it's shown she has good intentions. Plus, the blind man isn't exactly innocent either, as I can assure readers that some of the crap he does in this film is way worse than anything the burglars do.
Overall, Don't Breathe was a fun little mystery thriller, with a lot of suspense. Granted, it can be kind of cheesy thinking about how a blind man can easily take out three able-bodied young burglars.
But like most films, it's just one of those things you have to force yourself to buy into in order to enjoy the story. And for what it is, it's definitely worth a watch if you're aching for an entertaining horror thriller.