PuRock’s review published on Letterboxd:
I definitely agree with most reviewers that Fede Alvarez is a talented up-and-coming director. His brilliance really shines through in Don't Breathe. In fact, it was probably the facet of the film I enjoyed the most. Watching a good director utilizing his skills effectively. His use of sound is excellent and there are certain scenes which work perfect in defining the film as a whole. The film in itself reminded me a lot of Fincher's Panic Room ,with its manufactured tension within a single home. There is one early scene in particular that provides a layout of the joint with a dancing tracking shot that echoed Panic Room.
I also appreciated the fast and furious attack on cellphones (which is sadly a necessity in modern day horror films). But it's done with nice care and execution.
So no complaints from a filmmaking angle. My issue with the film is that the story is redonkulously ridiculous (yes, I just used that combo to describe a film). First off, there are several tidbits of information that make no sense. The type of information that leads my brain down a dead end street. Secondly, the story was stuffed with classic horror tropes. [Always remember that bad guys in horror films have more lives that cats]. Then there is "The" scene that describes certain motivations. If you've seen the film, you got me at "the scene." It's the type of scene that leaves you shaking your head in some form of absurd disgust. This pushes the film into the deep end of the pool.
In summary, Don't Breathe is a mixed bag of technical achievement and sloppy story work. Regardless it is highly entertaining and makes ninety minutes fly.