Thought’s on “Don’t Breathe”
So let’s take a walk, down an abandoned street. A street full of derelict property and the sight of no-one around, take this as a sure bet that things are about to get a bit stressful. Sure, the setting is an obvious way to stage a robbery gone wrong, having no access to help. Our heroes are already at a massive disadvantage from the get go.
The film follows three main protagonists, Rocky (Jane Levy, from the Fede Alvarez remake of ‘Evil Dead’), Alex (Dylan Minnette, of Goosebumps fame) and Money (Daniel Zovatto, from the intriguing Horror/Thriller ‘It Follows’). The three earn their living as ‘cautious home invaders’, their mandate is to fence goods for a total of under $10,000 so that the crime, if they’re caught, will result in the more favourable prison sentence; I’m not sure that counts as favourable.
At the start of the film the characters are in quite the predicament, Rocky lives with her addict mother and her new boyfriend Travis, whilst taking care of her little sister Diddy, she’s desperate to make enough money to move to California, to take her sister away from the wretched life she’s been living.
Money in a career that callously implicates him as a struggle. And Alex, the straightest arrow of the three, the only one with a stabile home life and respectable upbringing. Their reasons semi-justify the lengths they go to, to secure a future from their troubled beginnings, baring Alex who’s along for the ride for Rocky.
Rocky’s family life contrasts Alex, for she at the lower end of the spectrum would love nothing more than to get away from her ‘guardians’. Alex on the other hand has warrant for staying with his father, being that he’s more stabile and coherent than Rocky’s mother.
Alex and Money, two of Rocky’s closest friends, Money being closer as her boyfriend, steal from the rich and sell anything they find to a dealer named Raul. Raul tips them off about a man that could possibly be their next hit, they move into scope out the area and discover the man is blind. Having that parallel of Don’t Breathe being a literal translation, of, or he’ll hear you.
Alex’ dad works for housing protection, this gives the gang ease of access, having keys for each house on hand to use at their own will.
In the mix of a love triangle aptly put in recent social climate by Money, or as threatened by him to Alex, “Stay in the friend-zone.” in an awkward display of macho from Money. This quickly fades as the home invasion becomes evasion and escape; if it all possible.
The helpless victim, the Blind Man (Stephan Lang, Avatar) is played to aggressive but subtle perfection. The impact is sudden and the quiet chaos plays out in a tense 90 minute brawl of tense structured moments that has the film cut between the characters.
The effortless pacing between crucial points create a band of relenting tension as you are pulled into the madness from one moment to the next, never feeling that any of it is over done, or repeated. This praise goes to the direction by Fede Alvarez (Evil Dead Remake) and his cast & crew for putting the camera right in the moment and us, the audience, in perspective whilst making us believe their predicament to be true and tangible.
Don’t Breathe captures what it means with rhetoric interaction. It’s not a question, it’s not a thought, it’s an imperative reaction you keep in mind, that as you watch the film you will find out what it means to be in the characters shoes – or out of them.
– An impressive house invasion film that intrigues & displays a raw fear though it’s talented cast, with beautiful visuals and use of sound to its advantage.