Don't Breathe

Don't Breathe ★★★★★

oh my god

for a movie called Don't Breathe, I spent nearly the entire movie hyperventilating.

as It Follows did, Don't Breathe is a fantastic portrayal of Detroit teenagers getting into a terrible situation. unlike the kids in It Follows, Alex, Money, and Rocky are practically the last remnants of adolescence left in Detroit. each is seemingly desperate to go to a better place, so much that they decide to break into a blind man's home to steal a large amount of money. obviously, things go wrong. really wrong.

where many horror movies fail to elicit a sense of terror from the audience, Don't Breathe does it effortlessly. the true sense of hopelessness in the blind man's home is almost suffocating, and the main characters are at a sickening disadvantage to the behemoth that is the blind man. he doesn't have a name, and he doesn't have to. all you have to know is that he is not someone you would want to mess with.

in his sophomore turn behind the camera, Fede Alvarez proves he is a directorial force to be reckoned with. between this and the remake of Evil Dead, Alvarez is steadily becoming one of the best directors in the film industry currently working. the camerawork is jaw-dropping; there's a scene right at the beginning when the characters arrive at the house where the camera zooms in on many items in the house that become relevant to the plot later on. every wide shot, tracking shot, and jumpscare is pulled off effortlessly, making it hard to believe this is only Alvarez's second film. the score composed of mostly household items is stunning and unlike anything I've ever heard before.

Dylan Minette and Jane Levy bring two of the best performances to the horror genre in years. every mistake, failure, and sense of terror plays out perfectly on their faces, and without many words, they easily establish great performances. Stephen Lang is terrifying as the blind man, and he brings such a menace to the screen that is unimaginable. 

without a doubt, there's a scene set in a basement in the dark that will go down as one of the greatest moments in horror history. the second act features certain scenes that almost made me throw up, and one even provoked a crying noise from a woman a couple rows up from me. it's such a concise movie, with a screentime of around 90 minutes, it establishes character development, an unshakable sense of terror, and a satisfying ending. 

obviously it wasn't going to be as gory as Evil Dead, a film where people cut their arms off with electric knives, but Don't Breathe was shockingly brutal. the blind man has many devices to harm the intruders with, and he definitely uses them all. whether it be a bloodthirsty dog or a pair of garden shears, the blind man proves capable of bein one of the most memorable horror villains to date. 

as with Green Room, there's a painful sense of reality to the movie. the main characters can't just bounce whenever the situation gets bad, they're trapped in this hellhole, and they desperately need to get out. 

modern horror doesn't get much better than this. with its memorable characters and extreme sense of terror, Don't Breathe brings a healthy change to the horror genre, and succeeds in terrifying the audience beyond belief. it's a shame that the best movie of the summer came out a week before it ended.

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