Don’t Breathe – 3.5/5 – Movie Reviews by Ry!

dont breatheDon’t Breathe – 3.5/5 – Thrillers; they are a dime a dozen.  When it comes to these kinds of films, they consist of predictable characters, common twists and anti-climactic outcome.  No matter if it is horror inspired of dramatically enticed; they usually follow the same formula.  Every now and then, there is a thriller that bends the rules enough to stand out through its own originality.  Don’t Breathe is an Indie Thriller that takes the basic concept and puts a focus on the unpredictable.  Even with some cliché techniques and common characters, Don’t Breathe is worthy of the title of ‘original thriller.’

Premise: A group of friends break into a house to steal money.  What they come to find is more than what they were prepared for.

The film’s main characters are:

Stephen Lang as the Blind Man

Jane Levy as Rocky

Dylan Minnette as Alex

Daniel Zovatto as Money

These four individuals do a decent job in their roles.  With no real character development, they provide enough depth and distinction to create four individuals.  Each of them add tension, drama and enticing thrills that commence throughout.  Outside of the decent layering, the obviousness of the one-dimensional values still layer on the surface.  The irony is that this blend creates a ‘shtick’ for the audience to gravitate to.  As the characters become involved with each other, the amplified horror draws out the emotional foil; allowing for the unfolding of choice, drama and flaws throughout.  There are distinct qualities within each decision that helps add a human element to the traditional ‘thriller’ archetypes.  Outside of these four, none of the other cast members really matter.  They are there to be there; nothing more than that.

The direction takes on the course of a very simplistic tale.  There isn’t much backstory, character development or plot progression.  What you have within this script is the basic draw of a situational ‘playground’.  What I mean is that the film places a set of characters within a trapped ‘situation’.  From the forced plot driven elements, the characters are faced with a ‘dilemma’.  Even with a singular development, the cause of the original concept of a ‘robbery going wrong’ and the raw horror elements that builds throughout the three acts make the film great.  That would be:

Tension, tonal pacing and an unpredictable revelation

As the film introduces us to the players in this ‘situational’ playground; it leads quickly into what will be the ongoing dilemma.  Once the group breaks into the Blind Man’s house, the unpredictable roller coaster ride begins.  From this point, it is the heighten tension that builds up the moments.  This allows for the humanistic flaws to come unsown.  This is further blended with a mixture of dark tones, methodical pacing, amplified sensation of mood and emotional turmoil.  That layering helps add to the common ‘no hope’ theme, allowing for an original thread to move the characters along.  No matter if you’re talking about the friends or the Blind Man, you really have no idea whom will survive.  Once you get to the final act, all threads lead to a hardcore revelation that will bring the pressure to an all-time high.  With nothing left to loose, it is a complete no holds barred kind of ending.  When the curtain call comes, there is a sense of finality that will seem like a traditional ending.  What happens it bends away from predictability, leading to an ambiguous ending that will irk a feeling that there is still no escape.

The visuals are some of the best to come from a thriller.  The whole film is shot within one house.  That claustrophobic feeling adds levity to the tension, allowing you to feel the dire scenario.  From the dark lighting, quick camera angles and singular focus on the action, you have raw believability of what is happening throughout the story.  The brooding visuals heighten the pressure of the realistic setting.  The score isn’t a big part of this film.  There is some music that stands out, but most of the time it is nonexistent.

Don’t Breathe is a thriller that helps bring proof that originality can be spun in a basic concept.  From the starting point till the end, there isn’t any point you won’t be on the edge of your seat.  If you’re a fan of Thrillers, Indies or like something that is different and original, this is one for you.  This is worth a time at the theaters, a night out with friends.

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