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DON’T BREATHE

Written By:

Gareth Evens
dont-breathe

In Don’t Breathe three
friends with a history of burglary conspire to rob a blind veteran so that they
may use the money they steal to fund a new life for themselves. Things appear
to go to plan but the blind veteran isn’t as defenseless as they thought, and
there is more than just money In that house.

Before
the attempted burglary the movie does spend some time with the characters but this
isn’t applied evenly. Rocky (played by Jane Levy) gets the most development, and
Alex (Dylan Minette) benefits from some, but Money (Daniel Zovatto) is left to be
the stereotypical gangster character. These characters are saved from appearing
shallow by the actors themselves and by their chemistry with each other.

The
audience sees the characters pull off a burglary before they attempt to rob the
veteran (played by Stephen Lang). This gives us enough of an idea about the personalities
of the main characters and how they expect the night to go. Because we know how
the night is supposed to go we know when things are going wrong. This serves to
raise the sense of tension.

Speaking
of tension, we should talk about the movie’s villain. He gets very little in
the way of dialogue throughout the movie. When he does actually speak this
turns out to be for the best. The voice that Stephen Lang choices for the role
isn’t very scary, and makes him seem less threatening. This isn’t helped by the
dialogue, which stumbles into the territory of unintentional comedy.

Where
Lang’s performance excels is in making his character a very physical threat. For
most of the movie he stalks the main characters silently. It is appropriate
that the blind veteran has a vicious dog (who provides many of the jump scares)
because in many ways his behaviour mimics that of his dog. He sniffs his prey
out, and listens to the sounds around him to help him locate them. In contrast
to more stoic characters we have seen in similar scenarios there is something
of a wild animal about Stephen Lang’s portrayal.

Those
coming to the movie expecting a lot of twists and turns will be disappointed. There
are a couple of twists but the main focus with the movie is in exploring the atmosphere
than trying to surprise you with a complex plot. What twists we do have however
do really help with exploring the nature of one of the key characters. Without
spoiling what they discover a certain discovery, and the way that Rocky reacts
to it, offer up reflection on what drives Rocky, and how far she is willing to
go to get what she wants. The component parts of this reveal are not unique but
they are brought together in a way that gives a little bit of added dimension
to the movie.

Don’t
Breathe has a tense atmosphere with a good pay off. Stephen Lang is a mincing presence
and we root to see Rocky and her friends survive. Don’t Breathe is good for a
fun night out.

DON’T
BREATHE / CERT: 15 / DIRECTOR: FEDE ALVAREZ / SCREENPLAY: FEDE ALVAREZ, RODO SAYAGUES /
STARRING: JANE LEVY, STEPHEN LANG, DYLAN MINETTE, DANIEL ZOVATTO / RELEASE DATE:
9TH SEPTEMBER

Gareth Evens

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