Thursday, August 25, 2016

Don't Breathe Review: Invades with Intense Thrills!

While it is not a tradition, it seems common for the summer season to end with a horror film hitting the scene. Perhaps it is fear of the season ending that gets the movie world into the horror spirit, but whatever the case  may be-it seems like a better time then any to get scared. The latest film in the genre does not deal with the likes of ghosts or demons but rather  pertains in the realm of the home invasion subgenre. This concept is no stranger to the likes of horror or thriller films, but it is rare to see a home invasion movie making the invaders the victims; and that is what precisely happens in Don't Breathe. Directed by Fede Alvarez Don't Breathe seek to be a different kind of home invasion film thanks to its unique premise. Yet could this horror film stand out from the rest or will the summer season end with thriveless scare?

Don't Breathe centers on three teenagers: Rocky (Jane Levy), Alex (Dylan Minnette) and Money (Daniel Zovatto). The trio have made a living robbing houses of their valuables so they can leave Detroit; particularly Rocky whom wants to get her sister away from her deadbeat parents. Luck comes the group's way when Money discovers a home with over 300k inside, and the only resident in the house is a blind man (Stephen Lang). Sure enough the three break into the home in the middle of the night expecting a simple score; but it turns out to be nightmare for the group as they discover that there is more to the Blind Man then meets the eye.

The story to Don't Breathe turned out to be effective given the concept behind this horror film. The plot established a solid set up by giving enough backstory to the characters and establishing the main heist. Yet as soon as the three enter the house is when the story becomes a nonstop thrill ride. The story uses its fast pace to be thrilling as well as exciting; all the while giving moviegoers enough time to catch their breath. Along with the story's fast nature was a twist that was quite...well twisted. While this plot point may not have have been shocking to come out of a horror film, it was still managed to effective for Don't Breathe's thrilling plot.

The movie did not feature an extensive cast, but that did not make it any less ineffective. When it came to the trio I found the group to be tolerable in both character and performance. While these teenagers were not innocent, I could still comprehend why they were committing crimes and I was able to feel for them; well everyone but Money-he is just there to be “the jerk”(although even he has his merits). Along with the strong performances from Jane Levy and Dylan Minnette was the even greater role of Stephen Lang as the Blind Man. The idea of a blind killer may not seem imposing, but that was not the case for this antagonist as he was just as intimidating as any horror villain. The fact that the character was blind gave him a sense of complexity by putting this killer on an even playing field as his victim, which is a rare thing to see in any horror film.

Seeing this movie is a horror film it would only makes sense for the terrifying elements to be prevalent in the technical aspects to Don't Breathe. It is pleasing to say that the horror to this home invasion film was quite effective. Granted the movie's source of thrills came from its jump scares, but this tactic was used to the best of its ability as it meshed well with the movie's speed and tone. Also complimenting Don't Breathe's horror was the cinematography from Pedro Luque. The camerawork made the jump scares that more effective while the film's dark color established the gritty atmosphere to the movie. This was definitely noticeable in the movie's blackout scene. This sequence used both sound and camerawork to the best of their abilities to create the perfect terrifying moment for the movie; not to mention emphasizing on the dynamic nature behind Don''t Breathe.

It may not change the game but Don't Breathe is a one of a kind horror film. From story to technical aspects, this movie uses familiar elements in a dynamic fashion which only helps to makes this flick stand out from the rest. Along with its effective scare tactics and direction, Don't Breathe is a thrilling time at the movies that brings a new a meaning to both home invasion flicks and horror itself.

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