Everyone hold your breath. Are you holding it? Because you’re about to step foot into the home of Home Alone’s Kevin McCallister. It’s okay, though, because he’s a senior – so I am sure his antics are long gone…right? I’m kidding of course, but that’s just one of the thoughts I had while watching Don’t Breathe, a film whose concept is as simple as perhaps some classic movies, like Wait Until Dark. However, a concept so simple is handled quite differently than you might initially imagine.
So, Don’t Breathe stars Jane Levy, Dylan Minnette, and Daniel Zovatto as three common criminals who typically go around and break into homes to rob them for whatever they find is fair game. When wind comes around that an old blind man is hiding fortunes in his home, they think they can take his disability to their advantage and get in and out without his acknowledgment. Much to their dismay, the man is a vet, and all-around one tough dude.
So, I wasn’t sure what to expect from this movie before I watched it – but I was hoping for at least one quality – suspense, and in its minimal requirement, it no doubt delivered. The title, Don’t Breathe, isn’t only telling the characters to keep quiet for fear the blind man would find them, but it is also instructing the audience to hold their breath as well. I was highly impressed and satisfied with how much suspense the film held – it wasn’t about scaring an audience. It wasn’t about jump scares or the like, but deep and quiet reveals that develop a natural substance that can actually scare an audience and make them fear for the worst. In short, you are feeling what the characters are feeling; that’s incredible.
Next, I want to talk about the direction of the film. On one hand, I wasn’t a fan that it had to go a violent route so fast. I wanted a lot of stealthy, jaw-dropping suspense throughout the movie. I actually wanted it to practically be a silent movie – other than the variant sounds of footsteps, exhales of held breath, of tripping over whatever. That’s what I wanted to see in the movie because I truly believe that would have created an interesting atmosphere and possibly be one of the most suspenseful movies…ever. On the other hand, the direction it does take is kind of unpredictable, and I love not being able to predict things.
The visuals in the movie are interesting enough to take into consideration. You’ll notice a lot of green and blue hues – but mostly green. Imagine in The Matrix when they doused everything in a greenish tint. The thing about that is, back in 1999, that sort of trick was interesting and gave the film a unique vibe. Nowadays, it’s been done so much that when you see it, something deep down starts to question the quality of the movie. The tint itself feels cheap, even though I know it’s probably not. So if I had anything negative to talk about, it would actually be that.
Don’t Breathe is a good movie. Not perfect, but good. While I sit here thinking I could have made a more suspenseful tale, that’s not what the writer or director wanted. They wanted some suspense, and some really twisted ideas and visuals – which they undoubtedly achieve. Some bits and pieces of the film could be considered over-the-top, but the way I saw it was…it had impressive moments. In other movies where they focus on jump scares or push the limits on gore, this movie didn’t – what it did do was present an idea, a wonderfully twisted idea and you love every second of that because why not? Check it out, it’s entertaining enough and worth a watch!