Don’t Breathe Movie Review

New movie traumatizes audiences

by Sydney Booth

Don’t Breathe is the newest must-see thriller from Fede Alvarez for those who can not handle demons and ghosts attacking innocent victims in forests or spooky houses. Instead, these characters are terrorized by one another as three troubled teens try to escape the home of a blind ex-veteran when a robbery goes wrong. In this edge-of-your-seat thriller, no one is safe in the man’s house of horrors.

Rocky, Alex, and Money are three teens from Detroit who make their living off of the backs of others. Their goal is to amass enough dough to get to California, and they thought they found the job that might get them there. Upon hearing a rumor that a blind man in a deserted Detroit neighborhood has millions in cash in his home from a settlement he got when his daughter was killed, the three gear up for what they think will be an easy heist. Things quickly spiral downhill when guns go off and the kids are forced to be absolutely silent so the man can not hear them and find them. Desperately seeking escape, Rocky stumbles upon a terrifying secret in the basement that will make escape harder, and survival a fleeting possibility.

The most common theme in this genre-pleasing flick is relentless peril and endangerment–almost to the point where the recurrence of the “subdued” blind man is annoying. Whenever one of the teens (specifically Rocky) escapes his grasp, she winds back up being assaulted again with the possibility of death increasing every time. It is easy to see throughout the film that many other methods could have worked for the teens to get out of the house. The fact that there were three teens and only one old man (granted, an ex-veteran) suggested that the kids could have easily overpowered the man if they had put all of their effort into it. As with almost every other action movie out there, scenes of violence occur and characters are remarkably able to get back up after every single punch that would knock every normal person out cold. One scene, where Rocky seizes a chance to attack, in particular was very unrealistic, but other scenes depicted fights that were heart-wrenching and entertaining. Although the movie has very little dialogue for the most part, the dim lighting, creepy setting, jump-scares, and camera work were enough in themselves to keep viewers heavily invested.

One of the best parts of the movie as a whole is that no one is solely guilty. The kids chose to rob a house and met a man who was willing to fight. As far as acting goes, Stephen Lang (blind man) was exceptional, and he fit the role of a veteran very accurately. The real surprise was the great acting from Jane Levy (Rocky) who is known for only about three roles. One of which was the movie Evil Dead, which was also directed by Fede Alvarez. For what little movie exposure she has had, her fear always seemed genuine and she was undoubtedly a great woman to play the role of Rocky.

So far, Don’t Breathe has made 35.6 million U.S. dollars at the box office. It has gotten a C grade from about every major reviewer: a 78% on Rotten Tomatoes, a 71% on Metacritic, and a 7.7/10 on IMdb. Alvares’s movie Evil Dead (2013) got lower scores from the three reviewers, but had made more, so far, than Don’t Breathe with 97.5 million U.S. dollars.