Don’t Breathe


(spoiler free)

We’ve already had some great thriller/horror films this year; ‘The Invitation’ and ‘Green Room’ are most prevalent in my memory. ‘Don’t Breathe’ looked to be the latest addition to this list, with positive reviews coming in from all angles. This kind of genre is one of my favourites as if done correctly I find few types of film more engaging. 

The film has a fairly straightforward plot, focusing on three friends who burgle houses. However, when they target an Army veteran’s abode they get more than what they bargained for and the film becomes a reverse home invasion movie as the trio try to escape! The film starts well and builds tension very effectively. The initial invasion of the house is probably the most tense the film gets, bar one great sequence in pitch black darkness, you’ll be so nervous and very uncomfortable. This tension is carried throughout the film used interchangeably with thrilling action once the chilling silence is broken by the characters. The film is wonderfully creative for a home invasion movie. There are already countless films like this before but I was constantly impressed with the ideas and use of the setting. The narrative is largely responsible for this as it matches the tension and action for quality at almost every turn. 

Be warned though, this film is very brutal at points and not one for the faint hearted. It’s very much a horror as well as a thriller and will shock audiences in the best possible ways. I enjoyed the different dynamics to the film too. I found parts ethically challenging as at times you weren’t sure who to support. After all our protagonists were thieves, should we want the blind army vet to catch them or should we want them to escape his horror house? I enjoyed this internal debate and was able to come to my own conclusion as the film progressed. The cast for the film is a small one, made up of only four main actors and a trio of dogs. Leading the cast is Emma Stone looky likey, Jane Levy. She is great here and reacts well to the horrors she watches unfold in front of her. The reactions of her fellow cast member Dylan Minnette at first were fairly similar to his more comedic turn in ‘Goosebumps’ earlier in the year but after the film got going it was easy to accept his far from funny surroundings here as he performs very well and is easily the most likeable of the characters. Stephen Lang plays the blind man and you won’t doubt for one second that he actually can’t see. He’s consistently menacing and a great antagonist for the film.

‘Don’t Breathe’ is a thrilling ninety minute cinema experience. With tension galore met with brutal action and a dark narrative this film never lets you settle. The cast all do well in their respective roles and their characters offer interesting dynamics causing conflicted views within the audience at different times during the film. One of the best home invasion films I’ve ever seen and a definite horror highlight of the year so far.

Rating – 8/10

Question: What’s your favourite home invasion movie?
(Leave your answers in the comments section below!)

Thanks for reading this review and please let me know what you thought about the movie! Leave a comment below or drop me a tweet over at @HCMovieReviews.




3 thoughts on “Don’t Breathe

  1. Very good film. Granted Horror genre ain’t my thing and the film at times uses certain ‘jumps’ that horror films would use as their main hook but the direction and performances made it work. From Goosebumps and now this, Dylan Minnette has signs of being a future ‘everyman’ kind of performance if he keeps landing good roles, manages to be likeable even as a burglar.

    Stephen Lang….really good with little dialogue.

    • Yeah, I really enjoyed it. As you say Minnette was likeable in an unlikeable role which is always good for the actor. I look forward to whatever he has next. Yes, Lang was very menacing – I liked how the jump scares involving his character seemed more natural than most other films.

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