Don’t Breathe

mv5bzgi5ztu2m2ytzwy4mc00zdfhltliytitztk1njdln2nkmzg2xkeyxkfqcgdeqxvymjy5odi4ndk-_v1_sy1000_sx625_al_Don’t Breathe is an unbearably tense horror movie/thriller. In most movies of this type, there are clearly defined rolls: there are “good guys” and “bad guys”; the “bad guy” usually slaughters all the “good guys.” The respective roles are not as clearly defined in this film, rather neither are totally good nor totally evil.  If anything, the “villain’ is sympathetic.

The basic story is very simple: a trio of petty thieves, lead by a clueless doofus, Money (played by Daniel Zovatto), break into houses to steal from the owners. Rocky (played by Jane Levy) helps Money and steals to save up so that she can escape her crack-whore mother and her mother’s abusive boyfriend. Alex (played by Dylan Minnette) is the trio’s scout; his father works for a security firm and Alex draws from the security firm’s client list to identify houses to break into. Alex borrows house keys to make entry easier. Alex is in love with Rocky, even though she is Money’s girlfriend.

The trio finds an irresistible target: a blind Gulf War veteran (played by Stephen Lang) who apparently has just come into a great deal of money. He lives in a very bad section of town, so there no cops around. They think it will be easy to break into his house and steal from him.

Things are not what they seem on the surface, and the blind vet is more than capable of taking care of himself. In fact, he is hiding a horrific secret that he is willing to kill for. After he traps the trio in the house, a cat and mouse game ensues with deadly consequences. One effective series of shots occurs after the blind man turns off the lights and the trapped would-be thieves stumble around in the dark trying to escape him. It looks like scenes were shot with night-vision goggles and convey very effectively the world that the blind man lives in.

Although there is some violence, Don’t Breathe depends more on the unbearable tension created rather than cheap jump scares. It could be said that the blind vet is only protecting himself when he kills.

Worth a look if you like horror movies with ambiguous characters.

Skip it if unbearable tension gets to you.

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Don’t Breathe

-Steve