Don't Breathe Reviewed
Don't Breathe is about three thieves who break into the house of a wealthy blind man, figuring it will be an easy score. The Blind Man (listed as The Blind Man in the credits) is played by Steven Lang, who was also the colonel in Avatar. It appears he survived his grisly dearth in that movie because this blind veteran is anything but helpless. The Blind Man was prepared for a day when someone might try and take what is his—he has barred every window, put multiple locks on the doors, and trained a large attack dog. Once in danger, the trio find it near impossible to escape from his house.
Typically you don't find yourself rooting for home invaders. Even with their charms they're still criminals who maybe don't deserve a horror movie ending but also don't deserve our support. It is not until later in the movie, when The Blind Man shows his true motives and the audience questions who the victim really is. A character shift like this is typically tough to make in 90 minutes, but is done expertly here through a well-designed story.
One element I wish was used less in Don’t Breathe is the characters stopping to assess the situation. BITCH YOU ARE STILL IN THE HOUSE. STOP ASKING IF SHE IS ALRIGHT, TURN THE KEY, AND KEEP RUNNING. The pause-while-in-danger is one of the more annoying horror movie tropes out there, but when executed properly it does show how invested the audience is in its characters.
I wouldn’t describe Don’t Breathe as scary; it’s suspenseful. In fact, the scariest part of the movie may be the unconventional use of a turkey baster. Don’t worry horror fans— there are plenty of moments that will make viewers jump or cue up a nightmare, but most importantly Alvarez molds the home invasion premise into a smart and simple story that audiences will scream for. B+