The creators of Evil Dead reunite to bring you the final horror movie of the summer
Breathe in. Breathe out. The exercises you’ll be performing when you watch this suspenseful late-summer thrill ride. Rocky (Jane Levy) is a thief. Stealing from upper-class citizens, the teenagers decide to steal from a blind man (Stephen Lang) who is sitting on a big load of money. Though they thought the surprise would be on him, they were totally wrong. This film comes from the same creators who helped bring Evil Dead to life and it is worth a watch.
Don’t Breathe takes a simple premise and makes the most out of it. Just like The Shallows, it is another example of small budget film-making. What Don’t Breathe does best is the little things that contribute to the tense moments. It builds and builds suspense until the audience’s hearts can’t take it anymore. They get the most of out every scene and nothing feels wasted. Every scare is earned because the film-makers took the time to build it for us. Small things like alarm countdowns are presented in a very Hitchcockian way, in which the audience is presented with a stimuli that has to be dealt with quickly or everyone dies. With this way of presenting things, the audience is in full suspense mode.
For the suspense to work, the movie needs to have likable and motive-driven characters. Don’t Breathe certainly has those. Except for the boyfriend character who is quite frankly wasted, the other to characters are very likable. The viewer has a reason for rooting for these criminals because a motive was given prior to these events. To wrap this all up, the audience is given some great actors who deliver solid performance each.
Even at the movie’s moral turn, Don’t Breathe continues to ooze of tension and shockingly so. It’s only at this point where you truly understand who you’re dealing with and who you should side with. The film does give a reason for why all the characters have chosen these paths. It uncovers the human’s evil nature quite well. And while it’s a concept that other horror movies have dwelled on, modern horror has been too caught up with ghosts and demons to revisit this scary concept that all of us have.
Don’t Breathe is, in fact, a modern horror flick, but it doesn’t need jump scares. It instead relies on a more suspenseful nature of horror movies. All the popular modern horror tropes are almost non-existent. There are a couple of unnecessary jump scares, but for the most part, the movie is all about creating a tension-filled atmosphere and they greatly succeed.
Don’t Breathe is not a typical horror movie and that’s what makes it so great. Filled with tension and suspense, it continuously finds ways to keep you on the end of your seat. Lang and Levy make believable characters that had hard paths in life, but just when you think you got them all figured out, be prepared to gasp.