You’ll hold your breath for all of Don’t Breathe – review

Don't Breathe Photo I can’t remember the last time I let out an authentic scream in a movie theater before watching Don’t Breathe. Another horror film from Fede Alvarez, the director of Evil Dead (2013), Don’t Breathe is a roller coaster of suspense and thrill.

The movie begins with an introduction to Alex (Dylan Minnette), Rocky (Jane Levy) and Money (Daniel Zovatto), who break into the homes of wealthy individuals. It is revealed later that Alex has a father who owns a security company, making the break-ins equivalent to taking candy from a baby.

Becoming confident in their thieving abilities, Rocky and Money convince Alex to steal a key from his father to complete one last heist. The target is a blind military veteran (Stephen Lang) who won a major settlement after his child’s accidental death. Alex agrees, and after careful observation of the vet’s home, they embark on their last mission with optimism.

Faith in the operation is quickly squashed when the vet discovers there’s at least one intruder in his home. After he deals with Money, the vet realizes there are two more intruders and proceeds to secure all the exits, trapping Alex and Rocky inside. Playing a demented and horrifying game of cat and mouse, the vet begins to hunt them down one-by-one using his super-heightened sense of sound and smell.

You’ll never hear a theater more silent than during the scene in the basement when the vet turns out the lights, leaving Rocky and Alex with equivalent senses to his own. Using only their senses of smell, sound, and touch, they must find each other quickly before the vet does.

Don't Breathe Photo

The entire film is one big immersive experience. You are transported out of the theater and into the house, hearing every tiny gasp for air and creak in the floorboard. When Rocky holds her breath, you can’t help but hold yours with her.

Stephan Lang does a phenomenal job of portraying the blind vet. He brought this character to life in a very real and convincing way, and I hope to see him in more horror roles like this.

The film succeeded in keeping me on the edge of my seat, leaving zero inclination as to what was going to happen next. “Dull” and “slow” moments simply do not exist. Don’t Breathe is jam packed with surprises, screams, and gut-wrenching horror.

Be prepared to hold your breathe for a tense 86 minutes. I give this film a 9/10. Click here for showtimes. ~Emily Hatfield

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Comments & Discussion

  1. Ingrid • August 26, 2016 @ 5:41 PM

    Sounds really good, I might go to this.

  2. Toni • August 27, 2016 @ 12:09 PM

    I had to stop reading your review on this movie .
    For someone who hasn’t seen it you are giving way too much away .
    People don’t do that

  3. nael • August 27, 2016 @ 11:25 PM

    No kidding, Mike. The Evil Dead remake was total garbage. But are you surprised? Movie critics are imbecilic parasites.

  4. Joey • August 29, 2016 @ 10:58 AM

    Okay Mike, you sexist pig. Would you make the same comment if it were a guy who wrote this article? Opinions are subjective. You take it or leave it. You live a sad, sad life my friend.

  5. mike • August 29, 2016 @ 1:58 PM

    Actually Joey, I would have made the same remark had a man written this. Sexism has nothing to do with this. Yes, opinions are subjective, but critics should at least have a basic understanding of how cinema works. And you know nothing of my life. $@%# off!

  6. Meg • August 29, 2016 @ 3:03 PM

    High emotions aside, I gotta agree with the dissenters on this one. The Evil Dead remake was a clichéd mess. I saw Don’t Breathe this past weekend, and while it is an improvement over the director’s previous picture, it was still no great shakes. Neither film should be considered a masterpiece in any realm. No critic worth their salt succumbs to such hyperbole, nor should they reveal too much of the story, as Hatfield did. I would agree that the vast majority of critics have no clue about story structure, characterization, and thematic elements. I would also agree that all opinion is subjective, no matter how heated people might get. Take or leave that.

  7. Cliff Sturgess • August 29, 2016 @ 3:56 PM

    I saw it. Freaky. Very theatrical.

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