September 5, 2016
Review #839: Don't Breathe.
Jane Levy (Rocky), Stephen Lang (The Blind Man), Dylan Minnette (Alex), Daniel Zovatto (Money), Jane Graves (Cindy Roberts), and Emma Bercovici (Diddy) Directed by Fede Alvarez.
The best kind of horror movies either keep a good deal of tension going at a consistent pace or manage to have a fairly compelling cast. With this movie, it manages to do both pretty well, with a small cast of characters and an intense atmosphere that thankfully isn't filled with too many jump scares. It takes a basic home invasion premise and makes it feel fresh (in part due to a riveting and disturbing climax), while also not overstaying its welcome at 88 minutes. Levy does a pretty good job, in part because she manages to react with enough terror that doesn't get too grating. Lang is the key highlight, playing this role with a great deal of intensity, and while he doesn't speak much he still manages to have a great presence, especially with those eyes. It's not a clear cut kind of horror movie in terms of the actions of the characters, but it's interesting to see how they cross with each other, and while one could argue that the climax might have a plot hole or two, the film manages to be entertaining enough that I let it slide. It didn't hit me until about midway through the level of tension established by simple sounds made in the house (film title non withstanding), with one scene in near darkness being pretty chilling. Thankfully this was a quiet kind of experience at the theater, where the scares weren't obvious enough for the audience to point out nor get all screamy about it. This is a quick affair that will probably stick with me (and maybe you) for a while.
Overall, I give it 8 out of 10 stars.