Don't Breathe
Last night was movie night at the theater. I had my happy face on, some popcorn stuffed in my mouth, and I was excited to view what some other critics have been calling the best horror film in years which is Don't Breathe. I won't knock their enthusiasm for the film just yet because I was rooting for it from the get-go. Following up on his success with the gritty 2013 Evil Dead reboot, director Fede Alvarez decided to make a more suspenseful film with a disabled antagonist titled Don't Breathe although the movie should be called Don't See This

Don't Breathe is a cliche ridden film that takes hints from movies such as Cujo, classic slashers, and at times Wes Craven's The People Under The Stairs but in a way that's never shocking or suspenseful. It's more or less redundant and not in the sense that the movie repeats itself, but in a manner that it's be done by films in the past in much better formats. 

The film follows three teenagers/burglars Rocky (played by Jane Levy), Dylan Minnette (Alex), and Money (Daniel Zovatto) who decide to rob a blind army veteran after they find out he was paid off in a lawsuit after his daughter was hit and killed by a woman driving a car. You can pretty much guess the plot from this point on; they break in the house, blind man fights back better than they can imagine, they find some freaky shit, and all hell breaks loose.

The biggest problem with the film was that there was a huge lack of a protagonist. I could not relate wit the three teenagers  as they robbed people for a living. From the get go of the film I wanted to see the three of them get kicked in the nuts or slashed across the throat as they were just bratty little cunts. The old blind man whose house they broke into, Norman Nordstrom (Stephen Lang) was at first a sympathetic character; his child was killed, his house broken into, he's blind, he's being robbed, and he's just trying to defend himself. But, after a chained up woman is found in his basement any sympathies I first found with the man went away. They were all fucked up folks and I didn't appreciate any of them. 

The only person I did feel bad for was the woman tied up in the basement who turned out to be Cindy (Jane Graves), the person who hit and killed Nordstrom's child. While I was rooting for her to escape the basement and make some kind of turn around in the film, she was killed off within a matter of ten minutes from whence we first met her. Bad move and bad choice. 


As I stated earlier, the whole movie was pretty much predictable. The douchebag in the film, Money, was the first to die. Who would have guessed? The old blind man at one point is thought to be taken care of and out for good. Wrong! Rocky tries to crawl through the vents to get to a safer location. So does the blind man's dog! And when something horrifying is about to happen to Rocky by the blind man, Alex - previously thought killed by the blind man - shows up to save the day. Cliche after cliche after cliche. 

The one thing I will give to the director is that his camerawork was very well done for such a claustrophobic location. I will also say that all the actors did very, very well for themselves; I was impressed by the performances all around and praise the writing that Alvarez and fellow writer Rodo Sayagues gave to the lead actor Jane Levy; she wasn't your typical horror movie dumbass. She was smartly written, could stand on her two own feet, and had an awesome head to head with the blind man at the end. 

That being said, Stephen Lang as the blind man was much more empowering than any of the other characters. Being that he barely spoke or said a word until he had Rocky cornered but still managed to be a fearful menace was enough to have me hooked to the actor. His little speech about there being no God and the like was kind of cringing as that's a speech I've heard movie after movie. 

In the end, however, the problems with Don't Breathe don't boil down to the acting nor the vision of the director. It's a huge fucking script problem. The action we've all seen before. The surprises he tried to write in are not surprises at all; they're boring and old. Horror-genre veterans will see right through this shit and yawn at it. If Alvarez wants to get away from supernatural horror flicks and do something more suspenseful, that's great. But if he wants to do it good he needs to avoid conventions.

Don't Breathe
simply isn't the grand horror film everyone has been saying it is; it's a piece with damn fine acting plotted around an immature and - at times - dumb script. Don't waste your money on it. 
350
Brutal Resonance

Don't Breathe

5.0
"Mediocre"
Genre: Horror
Director: Fede Alvarez
Writer: Fede Alvarez, Rodo Sayagues
Star actors: Stephen Lang, Jane Levy, Dylan Minnette, Daniel Zovatto, Jane Graves
Last night was movie night at the theater. I had my happy face on, some popcorn stuffed in my mouth, and I was excited to view what some other critics have been calling the best horror film in years which is Don't Breathe. I won't knock their enthusiasm for the film just yet because I was rooting for it from the get-go. Following up on his success with the gritty 2013 Evil Dead reboot, director Fede Alvarez decided to make a more suspenseful film with a disabled antagonist titled Don't Breathe although the movie should be called Don't See This

Don't Breathe is a cliche ridden film that takes hints from movies such as Cujo, classic slashers, and at times Wes Craven's The People Under The Stairs but in a way that's never shocking or suspenseful. It's more or less redundant and not in the sense that the movie repeats itself, but in a manner that it's be done by films in the past in much better formats. 

The film follows three teenagers/burglars Rocky (played by Jane Levy), Dylan Minnette (Alex), and Money (Daniel Zovatto) who decide to rob a blind army veteran after they find out he was paid off in a lawsuit after his daughter was hit and killed by a woman driving a car. You can pretty much guess the plot from this point on; they break in the house, blind man fights back better than they can imagine, they find some freaky shit, and all hell breaks loose.

The biggest problem with the film was that there was a huge lack of a protagonist. I could not relate wit the three teenagers  as they robbed people for a living. From the get go of the film I wanted to see the three of them get kicked in the nuts or slashed across the throat as they were just bratty little cunts. The old blind man whose house they broke into, Norman Nordstrom (Stephen Lang) was at first a sympathetic character; his child was killed, his house broken into, he's blind, he's being robbed, and he's just trying to defend himself. But, after a chained up woman is found in his basement any sympathies I first found with the man went away. They were all fucked up folks and I didn't appreciate any of them. 

The only person I did feel bad for was the woman tied up in the basement who turned out to be Cindy (Jane Graves), the person who hit and killed Nordstrom's child. While I was rooting for her to escape the basement and make some kind of turn around in the film, she was killed off within a matter of ten minutes from whence we first met her. Bad move and bad choice. 


As I stated earlier, the whole movie was pretty much predictable. The douchebag in the film, Money, was the first to die. Who would have guessed? The old blind man at one point is thought to be taken care of and out for good. Wrong! Rocky tries to crawl through the vents to get to a safer location. So does the blind man's dog! And when something horrifying is about to happen to Rocky by the blind man, Alex - previously thought killed by the blind man - shows up to save the day. Cliche after cliche after cliche. 

The one thing I will give to the director is that his camerawork was very well done for such a claustrophobic location. I will also say that all the actors did very, very well for themselves; I was impressed by the performances all around and praise the writing that Alvarez and fellow writer Rodo Sayagues gave to the lead actor Jane Levy; she wasn't your typical horror movie dumbass. She was smartly written, could stand on her two own feet, and had an awesome head to head with the blind man at the end. 

That being said, Stephen Lang as the blind man was much more empowering than any of the other characters. Being that he barely spoke or said a word until he had Rocky cornered but still managed to be a fearful menace was enough to have me hooked to the actor. His little speech about there being no God and the like was kind of cringing as that's a speech I've heard movie after movie. 

In the end, however, the problems with Don't Breathe don't boil down to the acting nor the vision of the director. It's a huge fucking script problem. The action we've all seen before. The surprises he tried to write in are not surprises at all; they're boring and old. Horror-genre veterans will see right through this shit and yawn at it. If Alvarez wants to get away from supernatural horror flicks and do something more suspenseful, that's great. But if he wants to do it good he needs to avoid conventions.

Don't Breathe
simply isn't the grand horror film everyone has been saying it is; it's a piece with damn fine acting plotted around an immature and - at times - dumb script. Don't waste your money on it. 
Sep 01 2016

Steven Gullotta

info@brutalresonance.com
I've been writing for Brutal Resonance since November of 2012 and now serve as the editor-in-chief. I love the dark electronic underground and usually have too much to listen to at once but I love it. I am also an editor at Aggressive Deprivation, a digital/physical magazine since March of 2016. I support the scene as much as I can from my humble laptop.

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