REVIEW: ‘Don’t Breathe’ is an edge of your seat thriller

PUBLISHED: 12:34 21 September 2016

Rocky (Jane Levy) in Don't Breathe.

Rocky (Jane Levy) in Don't Breathe.


Right from the eerily quiet opening sequence, ‘Don’t Breathe’ builds tension and suspense effortlessly.

The first thirty minutes, boasting the largest portion of the film’s dialogue, follows three American young adults who break into people’s homes to make money - and try to better their own lives because of varying personal problems.

Rocky (Jane Levy) was abused by her uncaring mum as a youngster; she even gestures that her daughter’s been prostituting herself to make money. As a result, Rocky plans to take her younger sister to start a new, happier life in California.

Alex, meanwhile, is conflicted about getting involved in the first place - constantly pointing out how far they can go without serving time in prison - and he doesn’t want what he does to affect his dad’s job.

Money, on the other hand, has the opposite personality: arrogant and egotistical - it’s no surprise how he ends up.

“It’ll be a piece of cake,” he encourages - of course, it’s not. Because for the next hour or so the audience is left on the edge of their seats as the trio - who are surprisingly knowledgable about criminal law - are chased around by a blind army veteran (Stephen Lang) who turns out to be a lot stronger than they ever imagined.

It’s a lot better than it sounds on paper - especially when you realise it was directed and produced by Fede Alvarez and directed by Sam Raimi; they bought ‘Evil Dead’ back to gruesome life in 2013.

Panning and zooming to unnerving effect, camera shots are a crucial part of the build up, as well as spine-tingling instruments used as the main background noise.

It’s interesting how quickly the roles are reversed, leaving the audience questioning their own morals as to who is the real villain: is it the cowering criminals or the inhumanly tall, unapologetically violent man who’s being robbed?

As the lights go out and the story unravels, it’s clear where the sympathy is meant to rest.

With the game changing, the trapped thieves soon find themselves in the same predicament as the blind man...

With countless twists and turns, the last half hour is easily the most intense sector as Rocky - who turns out to be a sort of heroine - tries to fight her way out of all manner of hell.

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