Don’t Breathe - Horror Movie (2016)

by Moe


    When it comes to horror movies, I’ve been disappointed by the garbage churned out over the past decade. Most horror movies draw up on the cliches that were once innovative at the start of the decade. However, Don’t Breathe stands out for all the right reasons. It’s definitely a scary movie and each scene had me on the edge of my seat.

    *May contain some spoilers!

  • Don't Breathe - Horror Movie (2016)
  • The movie is about three teenagers (Rocky, Alex and Money) who break into homes and steal to get by. Alex’ dad owns a security company and by obtaining keys to homes that are supposed to be secured by the company, the teens strike home after home.

    Eventually they find out about a house owned by an Army vet where there’s supposedly $300,000 in cash stashed- a settlement he received after a woman killed his daughter in a car accident.

    Rocky, Alex and Money hatch a plan to break into the man’s house, however even the best planning can’t account for everything. When they eventually enter the house, they find themselves at the mercy of a blind man, whose years in the army have served him well.

  • Don't Breathe - Horror Movie (2016)
  • Up until this point in the movie, it was slow going. The director gave us background on the characters to make them easier to relate to (Alex dad owns a security company and he’s in love with Rocky, Rocky is dating Money and wants enough money to leave her alcoholic step dad and mom and take her little sister to California, Money calls the shots in the group). We see them in their element, attempting to sell items they had stolen. It didn’t make the movie boring; it built the suspense because you walk in knowing it’s a horror movie and knowing the direction the movie was headed in. You know that eventually they would strike a house where things wouldn’t go the way they expect it to.

    After breaking into the blind man’s home, Money discovers the blind man asleep and releases a knockout gas in the man’s room that should’ve rendered him unconscious for at least a few hours. Rocky, Alex and Money find a locked door (with a lock on it) in which they assume the cash would be hidden. Money shoots at the lock with a gun but that proves to be disastrous as the blind man was not knocked out by the gas and approaches the sound. Money threatens him with a gun and it’s here that the movie picks up pace and maintains it for the rest of the duration. The old man moves startlingly fast and uses Money’s own gun to kill him.

    I didn’t expect Money to die so early in the movie, nor did I expect the blind man to move that quickly. The blind man is not aware of Alex and Rocky at this point in the movie but with a scene like that, the only thought running through my mind is when is he going to find out about the other two and what’s going to happen to them? It’s predictable but engaging.

  • Don't Breathe - Horror Movie (2016)
  • Eventually the blind man finds Alex and Rocky’s shoes (he smells the shoes) and realizes there are other intruders in his house. He starts locking every door and putting boards over the windows to prevent any means of escape possible. At this point I’m not totally feeling sorry for Alex and Rocky and can actually understand Money’s fate. By giving us information about why the blind man has cash stashed in his house, the director allowed the audience to feel empathy for the old man. He lost his daughter, he’s blind and three teens intruded into his space. Some might even say he has the right to defend his home to the point of murder.

    The actor for the blind man, Stephen Lang, did his role incredibly which made the movie much for suspenseful. From the movement of his head as if cocking his ear to listen for sound, to his fast paced movements (when something moves unnaturally fast or aggressively, it’s instinct to feel scared), without exceeding reality, he was able to transform his character into someone who could use their disability to their advantage.

  • Don't Breathe - Horror Movie (2016)
  • Eventually Alex and Rocky discover that the blind man has the woman who killed his daughter, chained in his basement. He’s injected her with his sperm and she’s now pregnant with his daughter as believes that would make everything ok for having his daughter taken away from him. They’re not able to rescue her as a bullet meant for them strikes her and she is killed.

    This was where my sympathy for the blind man was rapidly disappearing because having that woman chained in his basement was way too far even if he felt it was justified because she killed his daughter. It’s at this point your truly appreciate that he’s either delusion or affected badly by grief but either way, there’s no limit to what he would be willing to do.

    The director uses moments such as revealing the chained woman in the basement or Money’s death as ways to keep us invested in the movie. Each unexpected event takes us on another ride in the story, presents us with a lot more questions and keeps us wanting more. The more we see into the home of the blind man, the more we understand his psyche and it’s safe to say he is by far the most interesting and polarizing character in the movie.

    Eventually the blind man is able to attempt to kill Alex. He doesn’t succeed at first but believes he’s killed Alex but later fatally shoots him, leaving Rocky as the only one to survive thus far.

  • Don't Breathe - Horror Movie (2016)
  • The blind man owns a large dog and there were times throughout the movie where it would be sent after Alex and Rocky. However, when Rocky is the only one alive and she believes that she has escaped, she is faced with dealing with this dog that gets inside her car. The aggression of the dog, the slobber and its proximity to Rocky, made the scene absolutely terrifying. In a way it’s the animal representation of it’s master as the blind man is just as aggressive and terrifying.

    The movie ends with the man supposedly dying and Rocky heading to California. However, at the airport she sees the news on the TV and realizes that the blind man never actually died. I like this ending because it leaves open the possibility of a sequel and leaves that fear after taste because we know the antagonist was never truly vanquished.

    Don’t Breath is truly a great movie. The plot is slightly predictable, however the movie doesn’t bore. The pace is fast and there are twists and turns that keep your attention on the screen. You’re actually able to relate to the characters, even the antagonist because the director weaves information about each character through subtle means.

    There are scenes in the movie which audiences may find too much to watch but I feel the director has cleverly put these scenes into the movie to invoke that disgusted or terrifying reaction. I am impressed with how the movie stands out among many other horror movies while staying within the grasps of reality. I recommend this movie.

Riza Joyce Barredo says :

Recently watched the movie and it good, it makes you also don’t Breathe.
Moe replies :

If you like this type of movie, watch Split, it just released. It’s as creepy as it gets.
Riza Joyce Barredo says :

thanks, i’ll try
Andrew Leith says :

Just hearing about this movie made me stop breathing. Just for a second. I love horror movies with deep intrigue and suspense, but some scenes were just too much, and I had to look away, and try to catch breath again. It was intense thriller and almost close to masterful and on reading reviews else where about this movie on the internet give it a high rating.
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