The tension is real in ‘Don’t Breathe’; the new horror-thriller created by the guys who were involved in the remake of ‘Evil Dead’. After watching this movie, I could say that this would be a high recommendation in the horror genre and gives those looking for some thrills hope for the future. Last year, it was ‘It Follows’ that defined horror with its use of 80’s-looking cinematography, score, and feel of a horror movie that is as effective as it was when it was released; now ‘Don’t Breathe’ takes the crown for what may be considered to be the best horror film in years. There’s no other way I can say this, but I would rank this movie as one of the best of the year, and one that will be burned in my retina for years to come.
To its core, ‘Don’t Breathe’ works with well-lit cinematography that deserves an Oscar nomination, the way that last year’s ‘Sicario’ did; it also has a great deal of tension and suspense that most horror filmmakers need to take note of, instead of using cheap jump scares to do the job. In fact, there are barely any at all, and if there are, they come when you least expect them to show. What I admire the most about ‘Don’t Breathe’ is the way it presents itself as a horror movie, and does something that very rarely, movies get to do: Make you root for both the heroes and the villain.
If you think about it, the whole hero and villain perspective is definitely changed up in this movie. The robbers in this movie have to play the opposite side of their movie stereotype spectrum to hide for their lives from a blind man who is basically the older, blinder version of Kevin from ‘Home Alone’. (This movie is also a horror version of that beloved Christmas classic if you think about it.) What Stephen Lang brings to the role of the home defender/main antagonist is mostly quiet, but gives you time to understand his situation and what he has to do in an area where everything almost seems to be an obstacle.
As for the robbers/protagonists, they are given some depth so you can understand their situations, (except for Money, played by Daniel Zovatto. Forget that guy!) and sympathize with them so you can root for them until the movie’s over. I know it’s not easy to pick sides when a trio is breaking into a blind man’s home, but the performances by Jane Levy and Dylan Minnette cement that feeling of sympathy and help you to care for them easier (Something the trailers barely did.) If there’s anything more that I can say about ‘Don’t Breathe’, it’s that this is a movie that will truly make you feel as if you’re watching a horror film and does its best to secure that spot. Also no sequel is needed.