By Shelby Fielding (Lubbock, Texas, USA)
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Don’t Breathe: Suspenseful or Boring?

Synopsis:

Don’t Breathe is directed by Fede Alvarez and stars Stephen Lang, Jane Levy, and Dylan Minnette. The film opens with an interesting introduction to the three main characters known as Rocky, Alex, and Money. The narrative of the film follows this with an interesting plot, that provides modern day reasoning of the everyday struggles these characters face. After, the characters try to sell items they have stolen, they realize they are not making enough money to help solve these problems, and this inspires the character Money, portrayed by Daniel Zovatto, to attempt to rob a blind man who has received a giant settlement from the death of his daughter. Then after the thieves realize this man is not as helpless as he seems. It launches the film on a entirely white knuckled suspense thriller with incredible sound design, and quick editing that displays the raw emotion from the stunning performances of Stephen Lang and Jane Levy.

My Thoughts:

What did I like about this movie? Almost everything to be honest. This movie is filled with unbelievable, white-knuckled, edge of your seat suspense. That suspense is possible because of the stunning sound design and gritty shots produced and directed by Fede Alvarez. The narrative of this film is so believable and really tells an incredible story with hidden themes. Themes of judgement, revenge, justice, and injustice in society. The suspense is also supported by the stunning and surprising performance from Stephen Lang and Jane Levy. Stephen Lang completely embellishes this character and reflects his grief and the psychological battles he as a character is experiencing. He has very few lines of dialogue that he uses to add layers to his character that make the audience feel connected to him, yet they also fear and disagree with his actions.

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As for Jane Levy, she reflects the fear and  relentless attitude of survival. She gives beautiful characterization to her character thanks in part to a well thought out script. I personally enjoyed the long, wide, one-take shots provided to make the audience completely lose themselves in the setting of the film. As these shots take place you feel as if you’re in that house with them and are battling for your life as well. I loved the originality and realism of this film. As the script provided modern day ideas on how to commit a robbery without completely ridiculous, impractical, complex ideas and actions. This realism gives the film a down to earth setting, and sucks the audience in even more. Creating a sense of realistic emotions towards the characters and their individual reasoning for committing their actions.

The film has also received criticism for its extra ending provided after the screen fades to black. That some have said should’ve been a deleted scene. I disagree, no spoilers of course, but the ending in my opinion provides more evidence to the theme that the movie is filled with which you’ll have to go and find out for yourself. It also helps support the blind man’s motivations to commit his actions in the film. The last thing that made me love this film was the use of true jump scares throughout the film. They are no false scares in the film, which mean every jump scare is obtained through good direction, suspense, and awesome sound design.

Flaws of the Film:

There are few flaws of the film, but these are big flaws which may reflect in my grade. One of them being that this movie pays homage to another film called Panic Room directed by David Fincher. It does this through the characterization of Money’s character. In which he resembles that of Jared Leto’s character Junior. Not only in the look of the character, but as well as his actions. This film also uses the same wide takes to provide the layout of the house that resembled Panic Room in many ways. Other parts of the film resemble Panic Room, but nothing as major as those two examples. However, the editing is great throughout the film, but there are certain scenes that could have been better. As I said these flaws are not found heavily throughout the film, but the flaws themselves are important mistakes that should not be repeated. These mistakes can be viewed as unoriginality as well as copying someone else’s idea and not making it your own.

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Final Thoughts & Grade:

This movie is an incredible suspense thriller that I will own on Blu-ray in the future. Like, I said the flaws show how the film pays homage and reuses past films characterization and direction to help flush out the script. But, nonetheless I enjoyed this movie and it’s use of true jump scares. This movie is full of adrenaline filled suspense, surprising performances, and an original narrative brought out with brilliant direction and production. I’m going to give this movie a B+. I recommend going and seeing this movie while it’s still in theaters if you are a fan of suspenseful thrillers and the horror genre like I am. What did you think of Don’t Breathe? Did you love it or hate it? Leave your comments down below. Thank you so much for reading and as always have a blessed day.

Rating: 4/5

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