Sunday, September 25, 2016

Don't Breathe - Review

A trio of amateur house burglars get more than they bargain for with their last job: a blind ex-army vet who's sitting on $300,000 in cash yet stills retains his expert skills at killing people. DON'T BREATHE is an engaging, taut thriller but you must swallow a whole lot of bad medicine in order to be fully entertained. Horror movies have been plagued by unlikable protagonists for ages now but this can certifiably take the cake. The viewer is forced to tag along with a ghetto white boy with cornrows, a friend-zoned loser made out of Wonder Bread, and a final girl that is not so secretly a pathetic femme fatale. Writer-director Fede Alvarex tries to throw in a cartoonishly evil mom, a brief sob story and a bad child actor in order to make us care about Jane Levy's character but it's hard to fully sympathize with a walking sociopath. If this derision of the "heroes" makes you think that it is a-okay to cheer on the excellently acted Stephen Lang as he navigates the walls and sounds in order to snuff them out, Alvarez has a trap card laying in wait to activate. He has not one but two disturbing twists in the second act, with the latter of the two being absolutely repugnant for those who haven't dined on on more foreign and/or upsetting horror fare. Despite my clear reservations of some its storytelling, not to mention its numerous plot holes, the movie is a well shot and directed terror-fest. Save for its creative decision to have the action be clothed often in teal and orange, it's framed and edited perfectly to make every tense scene pop your goosebumps and bring forth many memorable moments, particularly it's now famous basement chase sequence. The film's final act absolutely begs you to see this with a packed theater, as a series of unfortunate and kick-ass events transpire in rapid succession, leaving you practically breathless and filled with pitch-black glee. Only terror aficionados and those ready and willing to shoulder on with sheer assholes as the leads should venture into this dark house of horrors.


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