Thursday, December 15, 2016

DON'T BREATHE (2016)



Directed By: Fede Alvarez 
Written By: Fede Alavarez & Royo Sayagues 
Cinematography By: Pedro Luque 
Editor: Eric L. Beason, Louise Ford & Gardner Gould 
Art Direction: Adrian Asztalos & Erick Donaldson (Detroit) 


Cast: Jane Levy, Stephen Lang, Daniel Zovatto, Dylan Minnette 


Hoping to walk away with a massive fortune, a trio of thieves break into the house of a blind man who isn't as helpless as he seems.


This film is like a drop kick to your senses

The film gets right to the point setting it's story in motion. We get the stakes early On and the plot points, to get the film in motion and we are soon at the action.

The film is filled with plenty of suspense and jump scares that still manages to be surprising and scary. Even when you expect them at times the film manages to still put a twist in them. It offers more than just the initial set-up.

It seems the director Fede Alvarez is more out to prove himself and show his skills. After making his first film the remake of THE EVIL DEAD. Which was such a gore fest it seems he wanted to show he could do more than create a blood bath. Which might be why there is noticeably not so much of it here. He wants to show that he has more talent than just violent, crazy action. Show that he can craft a tale with scares and still offer visual pizzaz. He offers it here in abundance. This tight thriller makes his skills behind the camera more noticeable.

The noble aspect of a bad ass blind man who is less meek than they seem is not necessarily original. Though this is the first time they are used more menacingly. As usually they are the hero/protagonist as we naturally come to feel sorry for the handicapped and they make more amazing heroes for overcoming their disabilities or innocent victims. Either way they offer the element of surprise in some way. I am reminded of bad-ass heroes in films such as BLIND FURY and the recent LATE PHASES.

Though there are other films where the protagonist is in a thriller setting and is handicapped SEE NO EVIL with Marlee Marlin. The recent HUSH and WAIT UNTIL DARK with Audrey Hepburn which this film seems to be the exact reverse of in terms of characters and circumstances. Luckily the film doesn't get ridiculous and have the house be almost like a funhouse of games with booby traps ala THE PEOPLE UNFDER THE STAIRS, as that would have sent the film way over the top.

Stephen Lang as the blind man is menacing as usual. Though at this point in his career you know if he is in the film it is going to be a wild ride. It seems Like Liam Neeson in those TAKEN movies he has his own Set of skills. That people underestimated. Here he uses his more to be more menacing mad

The film is More a thriller in design with plenty of cruelty. Though the film offers great sound design. It also just feels brutal throughout. Even with a limited amount of actual violence, but when it happens it is less props or weapons and more pure hand to hand. It also feels more mean and fatal.

This is an movie that I could definitely see that was intended more for an enhanced movie theater experience rather then watching at home. As the design of the film seems more attuned for what a theater has to offer. As you too would be in a confined space in the dark with limited number of exits. In a location you are not familiar with and surrounded by strangers. So very few around you you can trust. I believe i would have enjoyed it more and probably rated it higher if I had seen it in a theater. I definitely would have jumped more. As it is good but seems to be missing something. As in a theater it would feel more like an experience. At home it feels like you are just watching.

Maybe the movie feels Too hard hitting as it feels more realistic with it's violence rather then typical horror movie type. Also as it seems for the most part the movie has him hunting down a lone female victim. Though it’s not as violent as you would think. Leaving plenty of hope and mystery, getting the audience wondering is there a Chance for being saved. Even as at first he actually might be in the right defending himself and his house even though he is more going to extremes. As the film goes on it reveals that he might not be so much an innocent victim.

The film is fine and feels more of a mai stream entry as the film does have plenty of suspense but I didn't find myself in the edge of my seat like another suspense thriller film GREEN ROOM.

The director here shows a huge amount of skill. He keeps it clean for the most part never teetering towards over the top violence and pushing the envelope nor keeping it clean and full of hope for everyone who is decent or likeable. The film is expertly staged but a little gun shy again Maybe as he has been there before or knows he is making more a studio film rather than a fully independent production.

Which might be the films uncanny weakness is that it co to ouskymfeels more staged and designed which of course works but also seems to keep the film at a certain distance from reaching it's crazy potential as the characters and their actions while shocking always seem to fall just short of totally believable.

It really comes down to performance I really enjoyed the film for what it was and love the filmmaking and want to see more films such as this. Though I feel it just missed out on it's full potential.

This is one of those films where the promotion spoils the film to a degree. You can still e JOY it as it has more up it's sleeve, but this is a film they might be more fun the less you know about it. I can imagine when crafting this film and going into it blind so to speak it is even more revelatory than it is now.

Then again that is more what I see and what I desire from the film. As the film is perfect and above the rest for others who see no or very few flaws. Through my eyes I see something different. So essentially this film is above average in the typical horror field yet for me never reaches the full heights of it's  Potential but it comes close enough.

The film is a more mainstream achievement as it truly does offer thrills and chills. Which is rare in modern studio horror films. It is the closest to a mind fuck toy are going to get from a studio as most movies that are that crazy and actually reactionary are more independent productions


Grade: B

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