When I first saw the trailer for “Don’t Breathe,” I thought, oh no, not another cheesy horror movie. Upon seeing the movie, my previous thoughts were completely forgotten. “Don’t Breathe” is a refreshing, spine-tingling addition to the overcrowded horror movie genre.
The film follows three teenagers, Money (Daniel Zovatto), Rocky (Jane Levy), and Alex (Dylan Minnette), who feel trapped in their run-down town of Detroit. They decide to rob a man who is rumored to be sitting on $300,000 and use the money to escape to far and better places. With the target being blind, they thought the heist would be easy, but it is anything but easy. The blind man (Stephen Lang), who is never actually named in the movie, turns into someone like Liam Neeson from “Taken” and teaches the audience never to underestimate anybody.
2016 seemed packed with horror movies: “Lights Out,” “Purge: Election Year,” “The Conjuring 2,” “10 Cloverfield Lane,” “The Boy”—the genre seems to be getting overcrowded. But “Don’t Breathe” stands out like a bright beacon in a dark forest. With its cast of up-and–coming actors like Levy and Minnette, this movie was able to focus on plot and shine . With its constant nail-biting drama and plot twists, it had something other movies were lacking. “Don’t Breathe” is a full-body experience, causing the audiences’ hearts to beat rapidly out of their chests, palms to sweat, and to jump in their seats and occasional shriek.
With a budget of $9.9 million, this 88-minute movie exceeded everybody’s expectations, grossing $89 million in the U.S. alone. “Don’t Breathe” will make moviegoers cringe and some even gag, and have them alternating between shrinking in their seats and being on the edge of their seats. “Don’t Breathe” gives the viewers constant hope that everything will be okay before crushing said hope. It is this constant give-and-take relationship that puts the suspense in this suspenseful film.
According to Wikipedia, horror is “a film genre that seeks to elicit a negative emotional reaction from viewers by playing on their fears and “Don’t Breathe” definitely plays on the viewer’s fears, like the idea of being trapped in a dead-end town for the rest of one’s life or being trapped in a crazy stranger’s house. To make matters worse, try escaping a stranger’s house in the dark. The movie takes advantage of messing with the audience’s senses, turning off the lights for a scene and making the room pitch black. Nobody can literally see what’s going to happen next—so don’t watch alone!
This R-rated movie dips into cliché a couple times, but the movie is so well executed that the clichés become minor. My two biggest complaints are the unsympathetic and flat characters, and while some find this movie terrifying, others find it laughable. People may make fun of the title, saying it’s a “don’t start” or a “don’t miss,” but this is all a matter of perspective. Most viewers will leave thinking, “that was better than expected.”
“Don’t Breathe” is a rollercoaster of a movie; once it gets started, there is no slowing down. It’s everything viewers could want in a horror movie and keeps their attention the whole way through till the very last nail-biting minute.
Fede Alvarez, the director who brought 2013’s “Evil Dead,” now brings audiences a new thriller movie that will leave them breathless. Check out “Don’t Breathe,” now available on digital video and DVD.