With the current popularity of horror, many sub-genres come and go when they are inundated with movie after movie. Found footage dropped off and zombies dropped off but one type of movie that has been going strong for a while and is maybe just starting to dip is home invasions. They have been around for a long time and really popularized with films like The Strangers, Funny Games and You’re Next, but one film that just came out took the premise and flipped it on its head for a fresh spin on the invasion and the result was a hit.
Don’t Breathe is the story of Rocky (Jane Levy) is a young woman looking to start a better life for her and her sister. When her boyfriend Money (Daniel Zovatto) and his friend Alex (Dylan Minnette) ask her to take part in a home robbery of a blind veteran (Stephen Lang) who may be stashing a huge sum of money, she sees it as a opportunity to make the quick cash needed. But the blind man may be much more of a challenge than the group expected and the plan may cost them much more than money.
Don’t Breathe really does a great job of taking the home invasion thing and flipping it on its head. While the younger characters would usually be the villains here, their tough personas are soon put into check when the blind man proves to be pretty adamant about not letting anyone break into his house. The plot about the money is interesting, the direction Fede Alvarez, who previously helmed the vicious remake of The Evil Dead, does a great job of always keeping the tension on high alert and the pacing breakneck. The cast are all great, Dylan Minnette is a favorite of mine after great performances in Goosebumps, Prisoners, Let Me In, and Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day and Stephen Lang, who has been excellent throughout his long career with scene stealing performances in films like Band of the Hand, Manhunter, Tombstone, and Avatar, finally gets a good dose of recognition for his role as the blind homeowner. Lang has a powerful screen presence that only seems to be amplified as he plays a blind man. Don’t Breathe is fresh, tense, scary and fun. Highly recommended.