Horror Recommendation: Don’t Breathe (2016)
Posted: by Sean Gonzalez
Don’t Breathe (2016): Directed By Fede Alvarez
In One Sentence: Teenagers in need of money and a better life decide to rob a rich, blind army veteran.
Why You Should Watch: To put it simply, this film is fantastically directed. The shots were stunning, making use of incredible angles to give the viewer a sense of spacial awareness between the characters. The opening moments are semi-interesting plot points but once the characters enter the house the movie really kicks up a storm. The tracking shot here is phenomenal, detailing important items that will be remembered in later scenes.
The depth of horror in this film isn’t supernatural at all, it’s more claustrophobic and anxious then terrifying, but in some ways that drives more fear in people than unnatural concepts.
You see, robbing anyone is pretty difficult. Robbing an army veteran is probably not any easier, but robbing someone who knows their own house as well as they do — even while blind — gives you the immediate disadvantage. I mean, think about it. If you have been living in your own place for a long time and possess a lot of secrets and goodies that you don’t want anyone else to know, well, you probably would have a better time of knowing how to make a stand against a bunch of petty (and quite awful) criminals. This is especially true when all three of the members could not land a hit in a real fight. Seriously people have to realize the ass kicking that is going to happen almost immediately. You have skinny boy Alex who’s not sure he wants to do the robbery, punk wanna-be-thug who surely has not seen a real gun before and small time robbery gal who dreams of California. All against an army vet who has been in real life terror, utilized real adrenaline to survive and knows the landscape in which he is defending.
Now that the plot has been established, Fede Alvarez does an amazing job and making it all come to life and drive anxiety into you for the entire movie. There’s a scene shot completely in the dark, making the two mischievous robbers as blind as the veteran, providing a real sense of horror because they have no idea where they are going while his senses are enhanced. Fun fact, I read somewhere that the veteran (Stephen Lang) used contacts that actually made him blind. Put that into perspective. Holy shit does that add to the realness.
There’s a few weird plot holes to think about once you have actually sat and thought about the movie, but this film goes above and beyond into creating a movie that gets your heart racing for the entire time. It’s not my favorite style of horror, but for what it is worth, Don’t Breathe is an exciting horror film that deserves to be talked about. It’s a movie that really makes you question who is the good guy in the film, because rooting for anyone here just seems like a mess in itself.