Movie Review || Don't Breathe

9/21/2016

You know we're heading into October when the cinema is showing two horror movies. Blair Witch is undoubtedly the big name, but having not been a huge fan of the original (don't kick me out of the horror fan club!) and the bad reviews it's continuing to get, I have a major lack of interest. It's such an unnecessary release too. It seems like clinging onto old movies and remaking parts has hit the horror genre, But that's another rant for another time. Instead we went for Don't Breathe. A horror/thriller about a blind guy who goes nutty on some thieves. Can you tell I'm not a natural at describing movies yet?

Before we get into the review, I want to say that this is spoiler free but it'd be hard to explain my feelings toward this movie without giving away little tidbits, like the infamous turkey baster scene. So bear with me and skip the spoiler paragraph if you want a mere overview with nothing ruined.


Three common thieves spend their free time ransacking homes of the wealthy, in hopes to one day start new lives in California. After catching word of a blind ex-veteran who is sitting on a large settlement thanks to his daughter getting killed in a accident, they quickly plan the job of a lifetime. Unknown to them, The Blind Man has a secret of his own and will do anything to keep it hidden. The night soon turns deadly as the trio are locked in the crazed man's home and wind up fighting for survival.

The main three characters Money, Alex and Rocky are decently written, if not a little cliche. You have the misunderstood female, the douchebag, and the Mr. Nice Guy. But it's okay because it works. Rocky played by Jane Levy (Who was really good at creeping the heck out of everyone in the Evil Dead remake) was the standout to me. She an underappreciated actress, and I hope to see more of her in the horror world. She good at looking freaked and being freaky. Stephan Lang who plays The Blind Guy did the role justice. His quick moves and intimidating stance is all the scare you could want. The other two guys played by Dylan Minnette and Daniel Zovatto were great but less memorable. 

I'll be honest.. The start of the movie is infuriating. Newsflash fictionalised characters: Just because the guy is blind, doesn't mean he can't hear you. Shut the heck up. The three characters were so incredibly loud when breaking in that it seems next to impossible that the homeowner didn't hear them. You want to shush them yourself. From there you get your average horror movie up until The Blind Guy gets up and around. But once the story kicks off, it doesn't stop. Don't Breathe doesn't give you a spare minute to get bored, which I will commend it for. The suspense is amicable and although some parts make you question if that is even possible, you're still entertained by the "Yikes" moments.

In one particular scene of the movie, The Blind Guy turns off the lights to even the playing field, and it's a great scene. You watch as he easily makes his way around his home with his mapped out objects, and as the others struggle. It's realistic and incredibly entertaining to watch as the tables are turned. The other notable scene is one where they first discover that the job may be more than they bargained for and quickly text each other (with their phones on silent, thank the Lord they aren't complete idiots) as a form of communication. It gave off Halloween Resurrection vibes and wish they'd continued with that a little. It would've been far better than the idiotic loud whispers they were doing later on. 

It continues with the cat and mouse game until part way to the end, where the story takes a dramatic turn in direction which somewhat disappointed me. I was hoping it'd stay simple. Just a robbery gone wrong and the classic psycho (or defensive homeowner, depends on how you look at it). It's rare nowadays that you get your basic horror. A mad man with a knife. A few cannibals just hanging in the forest. No, now there always has to be a twist to keep the audiences entertained. Sadly, sometimes you really don't need it. Did Don't Breathe, you ask? Hm. I'm torn on that one. Personally, I think they didn't need to change it up quite as much as they did. Yes, it helped explain why certain things were going on, but the original premise really would've stood up on it's own.  I'm looking forward to reading other reviews after I publish this to see what other people thought (I don't like to before, as I don't want my own opinion to be swayed.). It was interesting how you didn't really know who's side to take in the movie, I mean, they were robbing him. A blind guy. An ex-veteran. They weren't your run-of-the-mill lost teenagers in a forest or campers. I liked that aspect.



****Possible Spoilers****



The turkey baster scene was a little step too far and made the line between horror and humour a little blurred. Countless guys in the audience heaved and the girls laughed as the baster and it's filling was rammed down The Blind Man's throat. But due to this, was the original horror element of the situation lost? It was assault in a different form, and truly horrific for the girl(s) in the movie. It made you feel uneasy but then laugh. Meh. I couldn't help but think of the girl he had done that to. As the movie progressed and the decision as to whether to turn him in or not was decided, I couldn't help but dislike Rocky for not being a kickass female character and standing up to him to prevent other girls from possibly going through that. I may just be overthinking it, and I'm sorry if I'm being one of those annoying people who take movies too seriously, but it was infuriating and lacked the character growth that I wanted. 

The ending of the movie felt like a car that keeps stopping and restarting. It was bumpy and because of that, it lost it's fear factor and became a movie that people started to giggle and make fun of. It didn't need to be. How many times can a dog attack? How many times can you think you're safe? If you played a "take a shot every time she stops and thinks she's safe" you'll be on the floor before the credits roll. It's a real shame as I was expecting more. 



****End of Spoilers****



The ending was left open to interpretation and possibly a sequel, but I hope they keep it as a one-shot. Not every movie has to has a follow up. Jeepers (Creepers). Saying that, I do really want Jeepers Creepers: Cathedral to happen. Finally. After all these years. Please? Pretty please? I digress, and beg. But that's okay. (Triple pretty please though?)

I wanted to love Don't Breathe, I really did. But I ended up just liking it. The shock value and the jump scares was entertaining, but it was incredibly problematic at times which was hard to ignore. I was left with more questions and problems than memorable scenes. Like, how did a blind man carry a unconscious girl down a rigidity ladder without her waking? How does one sniff out a shoe? Either way, I won't be looking at a turkey baster the same ever again. 

If I was a rater, I'd give Don't Breathe a 6.5/10. But I'm not, so watch it yourself and shoot me your thoughts. Always happy to hear differing opinions! Makes life fun. 


- Anne x

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