🇵🇱 Steve G 🇵🇸’s review published on Letterboxd:
Don't Breathe is a terrible film but I've only got myself to blame for watching it. I was supposed to go and see the Hong Kong action film Line Walker today. But, just to give you a further idea of how much of a fucking idiot I am, I somehow managed to get a train going the wrong fucking way from Stockport, thus ending up in Wilmslow rather than Manchester as was planned. So I ended up with this or going home and working and no thanks.
I mean, I like stupid films, but there has to be something else going on as well for me to still like them. Don't Breathe is just a whole load of total and utter idiocy and incompetence mixed in with some occasional dog jump scares. That's really all it has to offer. Its occasional moments of genuine tension are usually ruined by Fede Alvarez turning on that EEEEEEEEEEEEE noise whenever anybody fires a gun or these twats being loud to the point where you have to wonder if this dude is deaf as well as blind.
That's where the incompetence comes in. Everything these three do when they break in this house is LOUD. Squeaking doors, creaking floorboards and REALLY LOUD WHISPERING. One of these twats has the bloody noise on his keypad when he's texting. Another one bleeps away on the safe just a few seconds after Stephen Lang has cleared out of that room. Let's break a window, shall we! Because that would never wake me up! Why didn't Alvarez just commit to how stupid his film is and just have one of them pull out a megaphone. WE'RE HERE AND WE'RE STEALING YOUR MONEY COME AND GET US YOU FUCK.
Then there are the characters. I've seen it suggested that not having sympathy for these characters, especially Jane Levy, is callous because all she did was rob a house. It's hardly fair that he then tries to inject her with his manky-looking refridgerated jizz. Agreed. But two wrongs don't make a fucking right, do they. I'm not saying he's justified in doing that because obviously he's not, but she's still a burglar and I am not going to root for this character at all! The fact that she gets away with it at the end was all the more galling, really.
Of course! That's it! I, Fede Alvarez, will make her sympathetic by having her buddying up to her little sister and taking her away from her abusive mum and dodgy looking boyfriend! That'll work! No. Try again. And attempting to rescue that girl? No. It's just an unbelievable trio of characters as well. These two wouldn't be caught dead with Cornrow Dudebro (Alvarez does one of his few things right by killing off that tosser early) and Dylan Minnette is the least convincing burglar in the history of cinema.
As for Lang as the Blind Man (how did he come up with this name), I thought he was absolutely terrible. He's not helped by Alvarez thinking that giving him weird looking eyes and unkempt facial hair is supposed to make him look scary, but he's terrible himself. The one scene of dialogue he gets is delivered so badly that he squashes the supposed shock twist about what he's done to that girl because he's so rubbish at dramatic delivery.
There are a couple of good bits, such as the chase in the dark, which is really well shot, and the bit where Minnette falls out of a window onto another window - only to fall through that. I like the idea that he has essentially escaped and doesn't realise it and then ends up trapped again. It was a rare clever moment in a film that, in fairness, I almost didn't make it right to the end of anyway without walking out. Why? Because of this:-
That's the stupid cherry on the stupid icing of the stupid cake. How my eyes stayed in my head from all the rolling they did, I have no idea.
It might seem like I'm being unfairly harsh on Don't Breathe because I'm in a bad mood from looking stupid on a train and not seeing the film I wanted to. And if you were to suggest that, you would probably be right. But it's my review and I'll do what I want. EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE.