Wednesday, 19 October 2016


Three robbers (Jane Levy, Dylan Minnette, Daniel Zovatto), two of them likeable and one of them a dick (wonder who will buy it first?), target a house in a derelict area of Detroit, believing a blind combat veteran (Stephen Lang) will be an easy target for them to exploit. Once inside, they discover things aren't quite what they seem, and their blind host is more than capable of holding his own. What follows is a relentless exercise in tension you can chew on, wince-inducing torture and brutal chase sequences. And that's just the bloody dog. You wait until Stephen Lang gets involved...

At no point do you really suspect the two robbers are bad guys, it's made clear early on that these are the guys you should be rooting for. Rocky (Levy) has a troubled background and Alex (Minnette) is a good guy at heart, he just fell in love with the wrong girl. They need to make some fast cash and Lang's blind man seems like the mother of all pay days. The Blind Man (as he is known in the film) is a dream job for Lang, who breathes genuine menace, threat and even compassion into the tired veteran. Levy and Minnette are good value for money too, and they share centre stage for the most part.

The real star of the show, however, is Fede Alvarez. I was left underwhelmed by his Evil Dead remake, but not so here. Perhaps I had lower expectations going in to this, but there was something very calculated about his previous movie. Don't Breathe isn't perfect either. It borrows from The Collector, The Intruders, The Loved Ones and even Wes Craven's The People Under The Stairs, but there are still surprises in store. One scene in particular, an extended chase sequence where The Blind Man puts his opponents in the dark, is beautifully executed. The finale too, is as twisted as it is surprising, adding a welcome layer of depravity to proceedings.

Alvarez may have disappointed with his Evil Dead remake but this is suspenseful stuff. Don't Breathe is tense, occasionally terrifying and surprising to boot. Which is good going considering the uninspired home invasion set-up. What it lacks in originality it makes up for in relentless twists, turns and action. Recommended. 

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