Tag Archives: Don’t Breathe

Fede Alvarez’s Don’t Breathe

Don’t rob an old blind dude in Detroit, especially if the dude is Stephen Lang with an angry Rottweiler backing him up. Seriously don’t though, you don’t wanna know the consequences involving a turkey baster, a pair of scissors and a jam jar full of… I won’t spoil it but it’s fucking grim. Don’t Breathe is a pretty damn effective shocker from director Fede Alvarez, who did that Evil Dead remake that had the nerve to be way better than it should have been. In an especially derelict Detroit neighbourhood, three hapless street kids (Jane Levy, Dylan Minette and Daniel Zovatto) unwisely decide to burglarize the home of gulf war veterans Lang, who reportedly has a nice wad of cash stashed in his basement. Well.. he’s got more than that down there, let me tell you. Once he gets wind of their presence, his lithe warrior reflexes, keen hunter instincts and heightened sense of hearing make their experience between his walls a living nightmare, not to mention… other things he gets up to. Lang is the perfect actor for this because before he got super jacked for Avatar he was a pretty lanky guy, so you have this sinewy frame with sizeable muscle mass packed on, not the body type you want to be trapped in a narrow hallway with. Plus he’s just a terrific actor and plays this guy like a feral beast with touches of sorrow curdled into madness. Alvarez makes great use of his cameras here, doing long sweeping takes that utilize hallways, door frames and wide rooms, evoking David Fincher’s Panic Room just enough to garnish his own style. The acting aside from Lang is just ok; Levy does the wide eyed, tomboy Final Girl thing well, Minette is just not a naturally gifted actor and it shows, while Zovatto is saddled with horribly written lines from the Hollywood ‘this is what street punks act like’ typewriter bot and is just cartoonish. Still though, it’s a highly suspenseful effort that benefits greatly from Lang’s presence. As for the turkey baster, I’m not sure the film needed such a stark, sickening set piece (Fincher himself would squirm) but I won’t soon forget it, which I suppose is half the point. Tense stuff.

-Nate Hill

DON’T BREATHE – A Review by Frank Mengarelli

​”Who’s there?”

There’s no other way to put this; DON’T BREATHE is fucking gnarly.  Set inside a singular house, a group of young friends set to rob a blind man for an easy “once in a lifetime” heist.  Sounds simple enough.

Except the blind man is Stephen Lang.

Fede Alvarez is one of the best young directors currently working in Hollywood.  His EVIL DEAD remake, which at the time seemed incredibly unnecessary, remains to be one of the best remakes of recent years (very much akin to Marcus Nispel’s fantastic TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE remake).  Alvarez is an absolute maestro behind the camera.

While the film could have been just another run of the mill genric horror/thriller film, it excels with Avarez’s razor sharp eye and the casting of Stephen Lang in one of his most sinister and brutal turns yet.

Lang is one of my favorite actors.  The guy has been in so many great films, projected so many great characters, yet he never has been held to a typecast.  In this film, he takes the big bad antagonist and obliterates the screen with his physical intensity.  He’s a blind man, with a dark secret, who surpasses any and all boundaries to keep it safe.

Alvarez creates a small and intimate film, that builds and layers suspense to the point where you are constantly squirming in your seat and find yourself looking away from the transgressive visuals and sounds protruding off the screen.  If you enjoyed the dark nature of GREEN ROOM, you’re going to love DON’T BREATHE.