Don't Breathe

Don't Breathe ½

I wanted to like this. I really did. There aren't a lot of horror movies out in theaters that aren't supernatural, and I generally dislike the supernatural stuff- it doesn't scare me, because I know it could never happen. What scares me is THIS, being locked inside a house with no way out but to fight off a war vet who has insane military skills, an alarm system, weapons, and lots of wherewithal to protect his money from thieves (ie, YOU, because in this movie the thieves are the "good" guys here).

I did not, ultimately, like it that much.

So many things to dislike about this movie. Mostly in the vein of, "what idiot would ever do that?!" Bad horror movie writing that makes you wonder how on earth someone could screw this writing stuff up so badly. Plot holes the size of semi trucks, and too many horror movie cliches that added up to so much nonsense.

I will spoil the film stop reading if you have not seen and want to watch eventually. I will refrain from giving an overview of the plot, as you've probably seen it if you continue...

A few points. You want me to suspend disbelief. I get it. I can do that, but I can only do it to a certain degree before I reach my breaking point and I give up on the entire movie. You're telling me they decided to rob this blind guy at night while he's at home? In a neighborhood where his is literally the only house still occupied? All because one of the kids has the key and security code because his dad works for a security firm? It's completely absurd in every manner possible. Blind guys can still hear. Somehow they think making a ton of noise, leaving their shoes by the back door, then knocking the guy out with some toxic fumes is the way to go? Okay then...why does Alex (or any of them for that matter) not bring flashlights with them? I know nothing about breaking into a home, but you better be damned sure the first thing I'm doing is bringing at least 3 small but powerful flashlights and probably a light that would go around a band on my forehead to boot! These idiots bring no flashlights and at the most inopportune time, Alex is going to use his phone for light and it goes dead at that very moment...allowing them to be pulled into a ridiculous game of cat and mouse when the homeowner turns off the power (and the lights in the process). Wouldn't a guy risking his life, breaking into an army vet's home charge his phone battery until the moment he left his own house, only turning his phone on, depleting the battery, the moment he arrived at the house he was going to break into?!

That's the sort of stupid writing that I hate in horror movies. They have to make a character do stuff no sane person would do in order to push the plot forward.

Later, when they finally have the homeowner handcuffed in the basement, ready to leave and make it to safety- of course they do the ridiculous horror movie thing where they leave the only gun in the house in the basement with the handcuffed guy...hoping that he has no handcuff keys nearby, content with letting him stew down there with only one hand cuffed to begin with. Which is precisely when said homeowner gets loose and shoots Alex. WHY ALLOW THESE CHARACTERS TO BE THIS STUPID?

Later, when Rocky makes it out of the house, the guy's dog starts chasing her down...she makes it into her car, locks the door, tricks the dog, makes it out, and instead of being hyper aware of her surroundings, she casually lies on the ground for a bit, no idea what's going around her, allowing the homeowner to come up behind her and attack her, bringing her back to the house. Again, no reason for this. If you were involved in a scenario that she was just pulled into, she would be so hyper-aware of everything around her, it would be almost impossible to sneak up on her.

It was stuff like this that killed it for me. Plotholes that, if they did not exist, would have stopped the film...but for a better horror movie writer who would not need these lame devices, crafting a story that made more sense leaving out these silly contrivances. Like I said, I wanted to like it, but it missed the mark so many times due to what could have been easily avoided.

EDIT: Let me add one big thing that bothered me about this movie, and it's a problem that most horror movies tend not to suffer from. I hated all the characters. Rocky is an idiot who could easily find a job somewhere else if not in Detroit-- this notion that one must steal from someone else is absurd. Alex is some dopey idiot, and I have a hard time believing that his dad never caught onto the whole scheme after what seemed like many home invasions. And the last guy who gets offed in the first ten mins, whatever his name was, deplorable fella. The blind man is, of course, a monster because of his the end, I wanted all of them to die only to see justice served. It's hard to pull me to the edge of my seat when I could not care less what happens to any of these 4 dipshits...the only one you sorta care about is the rich (?) drunk girl who killed the blind man's daughter in the drunken accident...but even then, she's an asshole drunk driver, so fuck her too. To get me pumped about bad things happening, near misses with weaponry, dangerous tense situations- you need me to care about the people involved, at least a little. I didn't have that here at all. Not even close, which is always why I kinda, sorta hated the movie in the end. The more I thought about this, the more I wanted (and did) change my rating from a 2 to a 1.5.

UPDATE 2: As I thought about this tonight, one more thing that really bugged me about the plot of this movie and how absurdly bad the writing is. A blinded Iraq war vet with insane skills sees his daughter killed by a rich girl drunk're telling me the rich girl's parents didn't hire someone to go get their kidnapped daughter? This guy lives in a dump in a rotting neighborhood in Detroit. I'm pretty sure any basic PI could have uncovered the daughter in the basement. The cops didn't ever think to themselves, while investigating the kidnapping of a rich white girl, "gosh- maybe we should go check out the house of the guy whose daughter this girl killed? Ya know, the war vet with insane military skills?" They would have easily discovered her in all of ten seconds, blind man sent to prison for 60 years or so, end of story.

I give up on even hating this movie it's so ludicrous. Downgraded to half a star.

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