Good lord, if ever a movie was titled appropriately, it is rollercoaster chiller Don’t Breathe! Not sure I exhaled once during the hour and a half in its chilling company.
The best way to go into Don’t Breathe is blind, pardon the obvious pun. Know this : A trio of chancers break into houses (Well, one of them ‘acquires’ the keys…) and steal whatever they can find, no cash, seemingly just doing it for the buzz, until an opportunity too big to miss comes along. A blind war veteran, alone in a big house, apparently holding onto a big pile of money that he does not trust the bank with. Shooting fish in a barrel, right? Well, no, that would not be much of a film, would it?
The great thing is that with virtual unknowns throughout, you don’t have the usual ‘this guy will survive’ or ‘this will be the end’, as the film gets deeper, darker and more complex, you really have little idea how it is going to play out, you’ll know only one thing, that you, the viewer, want out from the intense chills of this darkened environment. As floorboards creak, you will freeze, as if you yourself are up against this sightless warrior. You will also have your definitions of heroes and villains challenged throughout, what sort of defenses are justified and what sorts of attack can be acceptable in the toughest of situations?
Don’t Breathe puts new life in the Home Invasion genre, excellent performances throughout, the closest thing I can think of in terms of look and feel is Martyrs, the dirt and the blood and the darkness and that is a huge compliment as Martyrs is my most terrifying movie ever and whilst Don’t Breathe might not be quite that disturbing, it does give you that same feeling of looking up at the sun when you leave the cinema and saying a quiet ‘thank you’ for getting out alive. Which is the best thing you can say about any horror, isn’t it? 🙂