Monday, 26 September 2016

Film Review: "Don't Breathe" (2016).

"This house looked like an easy target. Until they found what was inside."
This is Don't Breathe. This horror film directed by Fede Alvarez and written by Alvarez and Rodo Savages. The film follows a trio of reckless thieves who break into the house of a wealthy blind man, thinking they'll get away with the perfect heist. But they're wrong, now the group must find a way to escape his home before they become his newest victims.

Due to the criticisms received for his previous film Evil Dead (2013), Alvarez decided to make an original story, that contained little blood and more suspense, as a follow up instead of an intended sequel. He wanted to avoid making a film dealing with the supernatural, as he felt that was too trendy. Instead opted to make a reality-based film. Alvarez explained, "Sometimes you naturally give them powers and make them more menacing than a normal person, so we thought what if we do the other way around and take his eyes out and make him a blind person." Alvarez has called the movie "exercise in reversal" noting that the film deliberately subverts tropes such as the fact that the house in question is a " nice house on a scary street" as opposed to the opposite, or that the movie is a home invasion story told from the point of view of the invaders. The film ilm was originally titled A Man in the Dark. The finalised title was not revealed until its premiere at SXSW 2016. By mid June 2015, Daniel Zovatto, Dylan Minnette, Jane Levy and Stephen Lang were cast. Principal photography began in late June 2015. The film was primarily shot in Hungary, even though the film is set in Detroit. This put the film's budget roughly half the cost of Evil Dead and allowed less interference from the studio.

The film stars Jane Levy, Dylan Minnette, Daniel Zovatto and Stephen Lang. The cast gave genuinely intense performances. It is because of this that made it all the more interesting, especially when the roles of love-to-hate burglars and an empathetic victim have been reversed. Where you empathise for the trio and dread the old blind man. Kudos to Lang especially for pulling off an amazingly terrifying performance for a character who is blind. Never in my life have I ever been terrified of a blind man.

It may lack the originality that the marketing campaign had led us to believe, but Don't Breathe  compensates with brutal terror, intense scares, and shocking moments. The film is amazingly intense and fun, as well as terrifying, exhilarating and relentless. It may be the most unrelenting and shocking horror film to come out of a major studio in a very long time. In the end, it may not be wildly inventive nor the best film of the year, but it is certainly effective and it does its job. I love horror films that truly shock, scare and provoke, and this film is one of them.

Simon says Don't Breathe receives:

Also, see my review for Evil Dead.

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