I was so excited to see this film after the promise Alvarez showed with his Evil Dead remake and he didn’t disappoint at all!
This is tight, taught tension and suspense done with the sort of inventiveness that has been lacking in this genre of late. To make a somewhat lazy comparison I would say it is a cross between David Fincher’s Panic Room from 2002 and Jeremy Saulnier’s Green Room from last year.
Fede Alvarez constructs his scenes so wonderfully that you can’t help but instinctively hold your breath along with the characters. Where Evil Dead succeeded in over the top gore and insanity, Don’t Breathe has something completely different on its agenda. There is a pace to the proceedings that is pretty relentless and there are some truly surprising twists along the way that keep hitting you hard. Alvarez has now proven himself with Gore and Supsense, if the rumours of an “Incognito” adaptation next are true then consider me 100% on the bandwagon!
By the way, Jane Levy is everything!!! The cast are all superb even if the characters are quite thinly drawn but Jane Levy as Rocky is a spot on performance in my opinion. When you see enough genre films you start to recognise the same performance being done by different actresses in these lead roles but Levy really does bring something new here. I can’t wait to see what she does next, preferably with Alvarez for a third time!
Our two young male leads also do a good job of being the ying and yang of Rocky’s affections. One a possessive and cocksure wannabe gangsta and the other a more sensitive and thoughtful admirer. They play this cat and mouse game well and are more interesting than the trailer and synopsis would lead you to believe.
All that leaves is Stephen Lang as The Blind Man! Holy mother of God is this character awesome! I remember Lang being huge in Avatar but he is terrifying in this. To explain too much about the character would do the film a disservice but you will be remembering some of these scenes long after the credits have rolled!
I cannot recommend this film enough. It’s under 90 minutes, it has tension beyond belief, it has some genuinely inventive twists and turns, it is shot beautifully and it showcases the talents of one of the greatest modern genre actresses working today! It doesn’t surprise me one bit that Sam Raimi and Rob Tappert took Fede Alvarez under their wing. The guy is definitely one to watch!!
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