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Hold Your Breathe For “Don’t Breathe”

Ben Atwater

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2016 has arguably been one of the most disappointing years for film. Big budget blockbusters such as Batman v. Superman, Independence Day Resurgence, Warcraft, and Suicide Squad have all fallen flat on critical and financial reception. Captain America: Civil War is the only film that really stood out as being universally loved by fans and critics, as well as making over a billion dollars.

With a rather dry fare on the blockbuster front, the horror genre has surprisingly put out some of the years best films. The Witch, The Conjuring 2, and Lights Out have all been well received by the public and critics, which is surprising. Horror films are often throw away projects by studios made on very low budgets, resulting in high profit margins. The trend of good horror films in 2016 continues with Dont Breathe, a new film directed by Fede Alvarez (Evil Dead, 2013)

In Dont Breathe, Alex, Money, and Rocky are three friends who consistently rob houses that are easy targets, enabling them to steal personal possessions. While this gets the group by, they do not have enough capital to leave the crime ridden streets of Detroit, which, ultimately, is their goal. After hearing about a blind man who has $300,000 cash, the trio thinks they have found a goldmine, as the blind man, played by Stephen Lang from Avatar lives alone. Upon entering the home, they soon realize how wrong they are, as the blind man (who is never named) is an ex Iraq War veteran who has no problem with murdering home intruders. Despite the blind mans visual impairments, his other senses are extraordinarily in tune, and he is able to overpower the entire trio. What then ensues is a cat-and-mouse like chase, as the three characters desperately try to find an escape from the house.

Dont Breathe is the type of film that could easily be spoiled, but what can be said is that the execution of the story is superb.  Stories set within a confined space often lend way to creative storytelling techniques, as seen in films like Buried, The Hateful Eight, and 10 Cloverfield Lane. The blind mans house soon becomes a host to a nightmarish experience, thanks to the creative and well executed cinematography. The gore is also very realistic yet restrained, unlike Alavarez’s previous film Evil Dead.

While the young actors playing the protagonists do a great job, Stephen Langs performance as a blind man is truly the stand out. With limited dialogue, Lang brings a certain menacing presence to the screen without even talking, through dead stares and imposing postures. These refined attributes make Lang a great villain for the film.

Dont Breathe is absolutely worth the price of admission. Seeing films set within confined spaces in a dark movie theater is truly the way to watch.  Dont Breathe is still in theaters, and is doing very well financially, so make sure to catch it before the home media release – it is a great horror film that will last the ages.

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Hold Your Breathe For “Don’t Breathe”