Don't Breathe

Don't Breathe ★★★★

Is 2016 a great year for thrillers or what? Don’t Breathe is a get-it-out-alive-or-die thriller in the same vein as Green Room, 10 Cloverfield Lane, and The Invitation, all of which were great. Fede Alvarez’s interesting directorial choices that include tracking shots, the tight script, and the confined setting lend themselves perfectly to making this exhilarating movie. These three burglars that decide to break into the blind man’s house basically sign themselves up for a suicide mission. You don’t want to mess with this Iraq War veteran at all.

Alvarez and Rodo Sayagues, who co-wrote the script, give us these criminal’s solid motivations to humanize them just a bit and some twists and turns in the story to portray the blind man as a morally-ambiguous character. While I don’t think it’s Alvarez and Sayaguez’s intention to make audiences sympathize with these unlikeable burglars, most of us still somewhat care about them. I don’t know exactly why we do, but I guess seeing a traumatic situation like this triggers our innate fight-or-flight mechanism, that hardwired human survival instinct that we all share. The movie did very well at making you live vicariously through these characters.

Stephen Lang electrifies every scene with his rage. And that’s pretty much what he does in the film. Lang only has a few lines, but boy is he great in the movie! I still can’t decide whether I like the ending, but it certainly make you ask, -- as a professor of mine would do -- ‘has justice been done?’

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