Film Review: Don’t Breathe

Don't_Breathe_(2016_film)Frances Winston feels that Don’t Breathe will appeal to fans of the horror genre, and anyone else who just likes to see a good old-fashioned creepy movie

Directed by : Fede Alvarez – Starring: Jane Levy, Dylan Minnette, Daniel Zovatto, Stephen Lang

This is billed as a horror movie, but if you are expecting terrifying monsters and otherworldly demons, you’re in for a disappointment, as the terror here comes from a normal flesh and blood human. That’s not to say that it’s not horrific, but it is probably more psychological thriller than horror. Either way, this takes a very simple premise, and manages to execute it in a way that, on the whole, is extremely engaging.

Three teenage housebreakers decide to rob the house of an army veteran (Lang) who received a payout from the family of a woman who killed his daughter. The trio break in while he sleeps, thinking that since he is blind they will be able to get in and out without being caught. However, he turns out not to be as helpless as they had expected, and before long, they find themselves playing a bizarre game of cat and mouse in his home. As they desperately search for a way out, his house yields even more unexpected secrets that only serve to add to their terror.

The home invasion storyline could easily have become very tedious very quickly, but Alvarez packs this with twists and turns to ensure that it never becomes boring. The young actors appear suitably terrified by their nemesis, and surprisingly, the Blind Man does indeed prove a worthy and intimidating foe. Lots of old school tactics are employed to truly creep out the audience – the creek of a floorboard, the slamming of a door, a sudden shot… This shies away from effects and is all the better for it, with plenty of moments that will make you gasp.

It’s truly gripping for the first hour, but then loses its way somewhat for about fifteen minutes, with a truly bonkers tangent (I won’t post spoilers but it will leave you scratching your head and asking ‘why?’). It manages to find its way back though, and ends in classic style for this kind of movie, with a possible sequel set up.

Other than the slight tangent in the middle, this is relentless in its twists and turns, and has plenty of scares and chill-you-to-the-bone moments. It could easily have been pretty standard genre fare, but it has managed to elevate itself slightly above that.

Not just one for genre fans, this will appeal to anyone who just likes a good, old-fashioned, creepy movie, and should leave even the most cynical audience member satisfied.

In Cinemas September 9th!

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