Vampire Owl: Does this movie ask its viewers not to breathe?
Vampire Bat: Even if it does, that would be okay for us, because we are dead already.
Vampire Owl: But we do breathe, all the time.
Vampire Bat: It is an unnecessary thing though. Actually, we can live without that.
Vampire Owl: But I once told my a zombie girl that she took my breath away. From what you said, I realize that what I said then was of no real significance.
Vampire Bat: Why did you have to talk to zombies about life and breath?
Vampire Owl: That wasn’t a planned meeting. I wished to talk about knife and death, but things happened too fast.
Vampire Bat: Where is that zombie girl now?
Vampire Owl: I think that she has joined the army of the Lich Queen.
Vampire Bat: Your adventures are really disturbing, I have to admit.
[Gets three cups of tea with jackfruit chips].
What is the movie about? :: Rocky (Jane Levy), Alex (Dylan Minnette), and Money (Daniel Zovatto) spends their time breaking into houses and stealing things which they sell to make money for their living. Even as they keep doing the same without regret, what they earn by stealing is just not enough, as they are not paid that much money for the stolen goods. Rocky has the worst case, as she wishes to move away with her little sister from her mother and her new boyfriend who are alcoholic and too much bothering. As usual, they look for the easy way out and they find one in a blind Army veteran who lives in the neighbourhood who has a lot of money after a settlement which followed an accident which caused the death of his daughter. Cindy Roberts (Franciska Törőcsik) who had caused the accident had disappeared, and he was left with a lot of money and the house in an abandoned area of the neighbourhood.
So, what happens next? :: Even though Alex is heistant to rob a defenceless blind man, they finally decide to do that as it was supposed to be so easy and there was so much money involved. After looking at the surroundings during the daytime, they finally reach the house at night. After drugging the blind man Norman Nordstrom’s (Stephen Lang) dog, they try to get in, and with all entrances firmly locked, Rocky just manages to squeeze in through a small window and open the door for all of them. But things are not like they had expected. The blind man wakes up, and there are secrets hidden inside the house. There is also someone in chains in the basement, and in the darkness, it is the blind man who has the advantage over them. He is just not the man they thought he was, and they finally realize that they had picked the wrong house to steal from – but not before the death of Money. To add to it, the dog which they had drugged is back on four legs.
The defence of Don’t Breathe :: The success of Don’t Breathe lies on the fact that it is a home invasion movie at the first look, but manages to provide much more than that, as a horror-thriller. With the best use of the atmosphere, the darkness as well as the sounds make sure that we are watching something more than a thriller inside a house. We know what might be coming from the first shot itself, and there was sure to be blood and twists, and they are present for sure. All its elements are cleverly used, and we know that never does this movie misses out on its skill to be brilliant and entertaining. It is not easy to find a horror movie where you struggle to find the flaws, and Don’t Breathe is one of them. The movie is smart and we are satisfied; we had many home invasion thriller, but this is surely the one which you are going to remember longer than any other.
Positives and negatives :: One might still feel that the blind man’s secret is not used to that twisted advantage which the movie could have had and that would have made sure that this movie would stand the test of time for an even longer period of time. Yes, Don’t Breathe could have surely given the viewers an even more twisted experience which would have stayed for all groups of people, but it chooses to stay safe – that might be the smarter decision considering the fact that there are different age groups from different parts of the world watching this, but that was a chance that they could have taken. Instead, this one works with less dialogues and more thrills. The result is that this one makes one holds his or her breath, thus making its title really relevant, even though the name of another horror movie, Lights Out would have also been suitable for this one.
Performers of the soul :: Jane Levy once again establishes herself as a queen of horror, as she once again teams up with the same director after Evil Dead was remade with them being part of the team in the year 2013. Whenever we see a horror movie, we wish for her to be there; a few other names might be there too, but she is someone who comes as a lovely choice. Meanwhile, Stephen Lang is just too good – from the first moment his character is introduced, to the end, we are so much impressed by his work – and we are also looking for a sequel with the ending that the movie brought. There are not many characters out here in this movie as most of the action is restricted to the moments of terror inside the house. Then there is Dylan Minnette who is also there as the third significant character, and stays there for most of the movie for the good. Daniel Zovatto has a rather smaller role, and Franciska Törőcsik is another person with a short role, but we still remember her.
How it finishes :: This movie comes from Fede Alvarez who had given us Evil Dead, the remake of that cult classic movie which we had all watched while growing up. The fourth installment of the franchise was very much an interesting one, and Don’t Breathe successfully overtakes that one. The Uruguayan filmmaker surely knows how a horror movie is made to bring the best effect to us. If you love the genre, you are surely not to miss this one; even otherwise, you can go for this one, as it is that good. This is the kind of movie that we have been looking for since watching The Cabin in the Woods; for this is not the usual horror movie with ghosts, demons and times of haunting, as this is much more. It brings the good news here, as we get back to the ones that matters the most with their immense potential for evil; the humans. You want to see ghosts jumping out of nowhere to bring the cheap scares? Then you should travel another path. Choose The Conjuring or Insidious on another day; this time, go for Don’t Breathe!
Release date: 26th August 2016
Running time: 88 minutes
Directed by: Fede Alvarez
Starring: Jane Levy, Dylan Minnette, Daniel Zovatto, Stephen Lang, Franciska Törőcsik, Emma Bercovici, Christian Zagia, Katia Bokor, Sergej Onopko
@ Cemetery Watch
✠ The Vampire Bat.