Don’t Breathe, is a thriller directed by Fede Alvarez of 2013s’ Evil Dead remake fame and is centred around 3 friends devising a heist to better their lives with a proposed huge fortune by stealing from a blind army veteran, though things aren’t quite as easy as they would have hoped, the film stars Stephen Lang, Jane Levy, Dylan Minnette.
Tense and taut come to mind straight away with Don’t Breathe, a thriller in every sense of the word that goes from 0 to 100 in terms of its plot and plot events, you get your basic set up and premise and when things get going, they move at a fairly breakneck speed – which isn’t necessarily a bad thing as the plot is engaging pretty much all the way through. And I have to commend the premise itself, giving the perspective of criminals, thieves for example is nothing new in a thriller or drama, just ask Mr Tarantino… but the plot gives a spin on things, putting the ‘bad guys’ in such a gut wrenching scenario that you might just sympathise with them, despite their intentions. Well told stories can make you switch your views or empathise with characters you initially don’t want to and this element of good storytelling is evident here.
The plot definitely progresses along more interesting routes as it goes along, which is to be expected and it makes for expansion on what is a pretty basic premise, a premise that is executed fairly well I might add, with some great acting, though the cast is quite small, Stephen Lang is brilliant as the blind man – aptly named, he’s imposing and brutal and you genuinely believe he can take out just about anyone, one on one. And Jane Levy is awesome as Rocky, she has great dramatic range but I think she’s got talent as a scream queen, being very believable in her role with a very genuine feel to how she plays the character. Though with the good acting comes some bad, Rockys gangster wannabe boyfriend is particularly bad with some cliché lines and all of the characters bar Rocky do feel a tad one dimensional, though you can possibly excuse that for a film with an 80 minute run time. The acting goes a long way to help suspend disbelief with plot events that may feel a bit far fetched, as the intruders all seem to be pretty terrified of the blind man for example and this plays out in several tense, hair raising scenes.
Sensuality, with hearing and sight is played around with in a few scenes and it only adds to the tension, knowing every sound to the blind man is dead give away to a characters location, things can and do escalate very quickly and there’s a real intensity to the action that makes it feel very gritty and impactful. I also like that events unfold in a visceral, unpredictable way as the plot goes on and there are some definite surprises along the way, the result of which, is a fairly engaging thriller with nice execution of a pretty bare bones premise that expands on its ideas quite well.
. Brilliant performances from Lang and Levy
. Fast moving plot, engaging throughout
. Some one dimensional characters