Relentlessly tense and suspenseful, Don’t Breath is an impeccably crafted thriller that lives up to its name.
Directed by Fede Alvarez
Simple but engrossing, Don’t Breathe is a refreshing thriller that stands out as one of the real gems of 2016. The story is as straightforward as they come. A group of friends break into the home of a wealthy blind man, expecting an easy heist to get rich. What they did not expect, was for him to fight back.
Home invasion movies have become a genre of their own, one that’s rife with cliches and often falls victim to “torture porn” gore. I’m happy to say that Don’t Breathe is a genuinely thrilling experience, full of great tension and nerve wracking moments. The film never succumbs to cheap tricks or jump scares, instead using practical effects and some of the best directing i have seen in a horror/thriller all year long.
Fede Alvarez, hot off the “Evil Dead” remake injects unease into every frame of his picture. From long tracking shots to intense closeups and sudden lapses into eerie silences, Fede masterfully throws the audience into a vice of tension. Once all hell breaks lose you will squirm, gasp and hold your breath as often as the characters. Stephen Lang’s performance as the blind man is a terrifying treat to behold. Hell, by the end of it, you might even sympathize with the burglars.
Don’t Breathe is a perfect example of how great direction and craftsmanship trumps convoluted stories and gore. It delivers a non-stop thrill ride that smartly plays with our expectations, and avoids almost every issue that plagues modern horror.
The back and forth cat and mouse game does start to lose some steam near the end, and the film falls victim to the trend of “characters not double-tapping”, which can be infuriating.
Still, Don’t Breathe is a hell of a good time at the theaters. Films of this quality have become a rarity these days, so i wholeheartedly recommend this to anyone looking for a solid thriller.