Considering I had no one to watch horror movies with a year ago, I am really thankful that they are now something that my brother and I look forward to watching together.
Of all the ones we’ve seen this year, Don’t Breathe is one of the best. It has not dethroned The Conjuring 2 as my favorite horror film of the year, but it is the one that has gotten the closest. What makes Don’t Breathe so unique in its experience is how minimalist it is. The story is simplistic, the plot is not necessarily complex, but Don’t Breathe knows what it is and is able to work well with what little it does use.
Stephen Lang as the blind man is absolutely horrifying. His performance, with the subtle desperations in his face paired with his sheer savage actions, makes him extremely watchable. This being paired with just how terrified he made everyone around him sold his performance. Considering this guy really wants to play Cable in the already announced Deadpool sequel, I would not mind him getting the role at all based on this performance alone.
No, I’m not kidding: he really wants to be Cable.
All the other actors do well in their roles. Jane Levy’s character is really the only other one with any sort of depth, but the rest of the small cast all do well in their roles. Part of what really makes this movie work well is their use of anticipation. The movie made me extremely anxious while using very few words.
Using very few words not only helped this movie because of the anticipation, but also because the script really is not the best. The dialogue, when present, has a near complete lack of subtlety. The best parts of of the movie are when nobody is talking and you get to experience these characters try to evade the terrifying blind man.
There is some corny-ness and predictability that does come with this movie being part of the horror genre, but in all honesty, I firmly believe the benefits outweigh the detractors this movie may have.
Don’t Breathe is certainly an entertaining ride, and there is enough self-awareness and self-restraint to not have the movie cannibalize itself with horror cliches and ridiculousness. I would not call it an exceptional movie, but I would call it a movie that is undeniably nail-biting and worth watching. If you’re a horror fan and would like to see something that is not demon or spirit related, then Don’t Breathe is probably the best option that you will have in a long time.