Don’t Breathe (2016) Horror Movie Review


“Don’t Breathe,” directed by Fede Alvarez, is a film that takes the home invasion genre and flips it on its head, delivering a tense, claustrophobic thriller that keeps audiences on the edge of their seats. The movie follows a trio of Detroit thieves—Rocky (Jane Levy), Alex (Dylan Minnette), and Money (Daniel Zovatto)—who target a blind veteran, believing him to be an easy mark. However, their plan goes awry when they find themselves trapped inside his house, leading to a deadly game of cat and mouse.

The film’s strength lies in its ability to create a palpable sense of tension and claustrophobia. Alvarez’s direction is masterful, particularly in a beautifully executed unbroken shot that establishes the geography of the setting—a crucial element for the unfolding drama. The confined space of the blind man’s home becomes a character in itself, contributing to the film’s suffocating atmosphere.

Jane Levy delivers a fearless physical performance, portraying Rocky as a complex character driven by desperation to provide a better life for her sister. Stephen Lang‘s portrayal of the blind veteran is both terrifying and nuanced, adding depth to the moral quandaries presented by the film. The narrative challenges the audience’s loyalties, forcing viewers to grapple with the ethics of the characters’ actions.

Critics have praised “Don’t Breathe” for its simplicity and effectiveness, noting that it smartly twists its sturdy premise to offer a satisfying addition to the genre. The film’s morality play aspect is one of its most compelling features, as it toys with audience loyalty and presents a protagonist whose predicament is morally complex.

However, the film is not without its flaws. Some reviewers have pointed out that the male characters lack depth, which could have been developed further to enhance the story. Additionally, as the narrative progresses towards its conclusion, the film shifts from tension to shock value, which may not sit well with all viewers.

In the Nutshell

“Don’t Breathe” is a technically proficient thriller that excels in pacing and atmosphere. While it may tread into shock territory towards the end, its earlier moments of suspense make it a memorable addition to the thriller genre. The film’s exploration of morality, coupled with strong performances, ensures that it lingers in the mind long after the credits roll. I gave it 5 out of 5 stars.

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Genre:  Suspense Thriller

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